WASHINGTON — President Trump ramped up pressure against the Justice Department on Friday, raising concerns about the possibility of a government informant inside his presidential campaign and calling it “really bad stuff!”
It was his latest salvo in a protracted battle between top federal law enforcement officials and Mr. Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill.
At the heart of the fight is a confidential government informant who, according to current and former officials, met several times with two of Mr. Trump’s campaign aides.
In a Twitter post early Friday morning, Mr. Trump quoted a conservative anchor on Fox Business Network, David Asman, who has been hammering the notion that an informant inside Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign reflects an unfair investigation into the president.
Lawmakers close to Mr. Trump have been fighting with the Justice Department and arguing that it is abusing its authority in its Russia investigation. .
On Wednesday, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, told lawmakers that the bureau has always worked to protect sources and methods in investigations. Confidential informants are among the most sensitive topics in law enforcement, and publicly disclosing them could jeopardize ongoing investigations. It also could put the informant’s safety at risk.
“As anybody in the intelligence community knows, human sources in particular who put themselves at great risk to work with us and with our foreign partners have to be able trust that we’re going to protect their identities and, in many cases, their lives and lives of their families,” Mr. Wray said. “And the day that we can’t protect human sources is the day the American people start becoming less safe.”
One of Mr. Trump’s attorneys, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said on Friday that neither the president nor his legal team knows “for sure” that there was a confidential informant.
“I don’t know for sure, nor does the president, if there really was one,” Mr. Giuliani said on CNN. “For a long time we’ve been told there was some kind of infiltration. At one time, the president thought it was a wire tap.”
Mr. Giuliani was referencing an accusation the president made early into his administration that former President Barack Obama had Mr. Trump’s “wires tapped” in Trump tower. The Justice Department looked into the claim and found no evidence that had happened.