11:26 GMT11 August 2020
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    A day after calling for the US Justice Department to investigate whether laws were broken during the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign, US President Donald Trump met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray to discuss the issue.

    According to ABC News, neither Wray nor Rosenstein made comments after the Monday meeting. However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement indicating that the US Department of Justice would expand its recently launched investigation to include "any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's or the Department of Justice's tactics concerning the Trump campaign."

    "It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff [John] Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI [Director of National Intelligence] together with congressional leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested," Sanders added.

    ​Reflecting on an article published by the New York Times on the matter, Joe Lauria, editor-in-chief of Consortium News, told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear that media coverage regarding Trump's call for an investigation proved outlets were starting to side with the FBI.

    "It's clear that they're only taking the position of the FBI on this and the Democratic Party… which is that Trump is trying to block the investigation into his alleged collusion with Russia," Lauria told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. "If there's ever going to be proof that there was interference by the Russian government in this 2016 election… if that's proven, then yes, we can make the argument that the FBI and the Democrats are making: that the FBI was patriotically defending our country against interference on our democratic institutions."

    "But if that evidence never emerges, then the insertion of Mr. [Stefan] Halper into the Trump campaign to talk to, and maybe even recruit for some purpose, Mr. Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, separately from one another, could have another intent," he continued.

    It was revealed Saturday that Halper, a Cambridge University professor and FBI informant, was part of a scheme to collect intelligence on the Trump campaign ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Halper spoke to several prominent insiders independently, including Papadopoulos, Page, Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort.

    But if nothing ever emerges demonstrating that bad ol' Russia did in fact interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign — as it so far has not — "it appears more and more likely that this was a kind of intelligence operation," Lauria noted.

    Though Fox News might want to call for "heads to roll" in the intelligence community for their potential errors in the Trump team probe, Lauria predicted that once the Mueller investigation is wrapped up, it's likely going to "just go away because the media is not going to pick up on it."

    "The FBI has a long history of sting operations… so one has to wonder what exactly Halper was going in there to do," Lauria, the author of "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton," told Becker. "I think this is what we have to find out."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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