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story.lead_photo.caption President Donald Trump walks off after delivering a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington. Trump says the United States is withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, which he called "defective at its core." (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump lent credence Thursday to reports that FBI informants had infiltrated his presidential campaign, saying that "if so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

Trump commented on the anniversary of Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel to head the Justice Department investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump campaign officials, an investigation Trump repeatedly has called a "witch hunt."

"Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI 'SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT,'" Trump said Thursday on Twitter. "Andrew McCarthy says, 'There's probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

McCarthy, a contributing editor at the National Review, wrote an article published last week headlined "Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?"

The New York Times reported separately this week that at least one government informant met several times with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, both former foreign policy advisers on Trump's Republican campaign. The newspaper attributed the information to current and former FBI officials.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said if the reports are proved true, "it should certainly be looked into."

The Watergate scandal in the early 1970s occurred following a break-in by five men at Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington and subsequent attempts by the administration of President Richard Nixon to hide its involvement. Nixon, a Republican, ultimately resigned from office as a result of the ensuing investigation.

Meanwhile, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said that the president still wants to testify in the Russia probe.

Speaking Thursday on Fox and Friends, the former New York mayor said Trump will only sit down with Mueller if "we feel there's a way to shorten this thing." He added that Trump remains eager to offer his "side of the case."

Giuliani has been urging Mueller's team to wrap up the investigation now that the probe has reached the one-year mark.

Giuliani's team has been weighing whether to allow Trump to sit for an interview with Mueller. He said the legal team is "pretty comfortable, in the circumstances of this case, that they wouldn't be able to subpoena him personally."

While the Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on the subject, it appears that a sitting president could be forced to testify. In 1974, justices held unanimously that a president could be compelled to comply with a subpoena for tapes and documents.

Giuliani also repeated that Mueller's team has indicated it would not attempt to indict Trump, as he told The Associated Press on Friday. Justice Department legal opinions from 1973 and 2000 have suggested that a sitting president is immune from indictment and that criminal charges would undermine the commander in chief's ability to do the job.

Giuliani told Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that Mueller "has all the facts to make a decision" after 12 months investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

"Mueller should now bring this to a close," said Giuliani. "It's been a year. He's gotten 1.4 million documents; he's interviewed 28 witnesses. And he has nothing, which is why he wants to bring the president into an interview."

"It's about time to say enough. We've tortured this president enough," he added, describing the investigation as being "like a big weight" on the president's back.

So far, the special counsel's office has charged 19 people — including four Trump campaign advisers — and three Russian companies. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, have pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with the probe.

Trump, however, has panned it as a "witch hunt" intended to discredit his presidency and has insisted that Russia had nothing to do with his winning campaign.

Giuliani, who is working for the president pro bono, said Wednesday that the probe "is not good for the American people, and the special counsel's office doesn't seem to have that sort of understanding that they're interfering with things that are much bigger than them."

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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  • muzzypat
    May 17, 2018 at 1:01 p.m.

    If Trump was an honest person, why would he be so worried aout it? This sort of means he is scared of being caught doing something wrong.

  • sjmays
    May 17, 2018 at 1:23 p.m.

    If he had stopped talking to Russians they would not have picked him up.

  • TimberTopper
    May 17, 2018 at 1:46 p.m.

    The pressure is mounting as he knows he is guilty.

  • glh05230944
    May 17, 2018 at 1:58 p.m.

    If the FBI had any reason to spy on the insane pervert's campaign, and it appears that they did, they were only doing their job.

  • PopMom
    May 17, 2018 at 2:20 p.m.

    glh,

    Of course, you hit the nail on the head. The FBI is supposed to investigate people who conspire with evil foreign dictators to undermine our democracy. Go FBI!

  • Packman
    May 17, 2018 at 2:47 p.m.

    Let's not repeat the wishful thinking hysteria of the Trump collusion mob. If Andrew McCarthy's sources are correct the biggest issue isn't about Donald Trump but the sanctity of one of the country's most trusted institutions. If the FBI is dirty this country needs an enema.
    .
    Remember, none of this would have EVER been even remotely mentioned if Hillary had won and they all (political elites) were smugly confident Hillary would win. So smugly confident in fact they may have gotten sloppy, such as those text messages between the FBI cheating spouse lovebirds. Jeff Sessions and Devin Nunes are D's worst nightmares. However, let's hold off spiking the ball in the end zone and not engage in the silliness of wishful thinking.

  • MARILYNMATTHEWS
    May 17, 2018 at 2:55 p.m.

    Wow. I expect better than this from this newspaper. Has it been purchased by Sinclair?

  • mozarky2
    May 17, 2018 at 4:01 p.m.

    You "progs" don't step outside that echo chamber much, do you?
    So now you're saying it's OK for the FBI to compile false dossiers, and to use them to get a special counsel to overturn the results of an election.
    No surprise coming from you wannabe totalitarians...
    BTW, you "progs' have no idea what's heading your way. President Trump will have the last laugh.

  • 23cal
    May 17, 2018 at 4:18 p.m.

    "Giuliani.... said Wednesday that the probe "is not good for the American people, and the special counsel's office doesn't seem to have that sort of understanding that they're interfering with things that are much bigger than them."
    *
    This is just a vague version of the classic “this is a big distraction for the president, he’s spending so much time on this he can’t do all those wonderful things he wants to do for the country” argument. Anyone remember when Giuliani made that same argument about the Ken Starr investigation, which went on far longer? Yeah, I don’t either. It magically only applies to the presidents he likes. Of course, Trump could easily make more time available by, oh I don’t know, not playing so much golf, which he said during the campaign he wouldn’t have time to do anyway.
    *
    The things being investigated are the possibility that a foreign government that is, at best, neutral, and, at worst, actively hostile to US interests interfered with the last US Presidential election in order to get their preferred candidate elected, and also the possibility that this candidate actively and knowingly worked with this foreign government to bring this about. Certainly in the realms of US politics, that sounds to me pretty close to being as big as you can get, so if there's something bigger that makes this not worth bothering with, then it must be something along the lines of that the Illuminati are actually real, and already control both the US and Russia anyway.

  • ARMNAR
    May 17, 2018 at 4:24 p.m.

    Marilyn, if this paper were owned by Sinclair, they wouldn't report ANY of the truth regarding Russian interference in the election. Sinclair makes FOX look like an actual news outlet, and not the official mouthpiece for the illicit Trump regime.

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