by WorldTribune Staff, August 19, 2020
The Cambridge professor who was inserted by the FBI to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign had once aspired to be President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, a newly released audio recording shows.
Stefan Halper said he had such hopes even after serving as an FBI informant against Trump’s campaign, according to former State Department official Steven Schrage, who shared with Fox News a recorded conversation he said he had with Halper on Jan. 10, 2017.
Schrage, who said he has spoken with U.S. Attorney John Durham in his investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, also said Halper later told him that the professor had been offered the ambassadorship to the Philippines under Trump.
“But you have no desire to go back in, unless there’s something, there’s nothing that would appeal to you?” Schrage said during the purported January 2017 discussion, which he told Fox News he was recording as part of his Ph.D. dissertation discussions with Halper.
“They’ve already given it away,” Halper said. “They’ve already given it away: secretary of state.”
Schrage then asked if that would be Halper’s “dream job.”
“Um, it would be a good job to have. I’d enjoy it, yeah,” Halper said. “I would be happy with deputy [secretary of state], as well.”
Schrage said: “I was quite shocked,” adding that Halper had “mentioned he claimed he had met with Ivanka Trump, other things he was pushing very hard for administration posts in different ways. The question is: did the FBI know, did the top leaders of the FBI know, that a spy was trying to infiltrate different positions in the Trump administration?”
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has pushed for information about Halper getting paid tens of thousands of dollars by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment while acting as an FBI informant dispatched to speak with members of the Trump campaign.
Related: Stefan Halper in January 2017: ‘I don’t think Flynn’s going to be around long’, Aug. 10, 2020
In 2018, Axios reported that Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro “recommended appointing Stefan Halper … to a senior role in the Trump administration” during the presidential transition period, asking that Halper be considered “for ambassador roles in Asia.” A White House official told Axios that Halper visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in August 2017 for a meeting on China and “pitched himself for an ambassadorship in Asia.” A White House official told the outlet that “recommending outside policy experts for roles within the administration is a pretty typical and routine action for White House officials.”
Earlier this month, Schrage revealed another Halper recording he claimed was from the same day in January 2017, in which Halper said he did not think Michael Flynn, then Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was “going to be around long.”