By Matt | Contributor | May 25, 2018 10:38AM
Six months went by between the time the FBI launched a secret counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign (which officially began at the end of July 2016), and James Comey disclosing the investigation to the public during a hearing in March of 2017.
Contrary to protocol, the FBI did not notify the Gang of Eight of the investigation, which Comey says was done at the advice of Bill Priestap (who heads the FBI’s counterintelligence division).
It took six months before the public would learn of the investigation and another year after that before we’d learn the name of the investigation: Operation Crossfire. The name of the operation is a reference to the 1968 Rolling Stones song Jumpin’ Jack Flash, which co-songwriter Keith Richards says “refers to his being born amid the bombing and air raid sirens of Dartford, England, in 1943 during World War II.”
The names that the FBI chooses for their operations reveals some info about the nature of the operation, and this case is no different.
According to The Federalist’s Lee Smith:
The answer may be found in the 1986 Penny Marshall film named after the song, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” In the Cold War-era comedy, a quirky bank officer played by Whoopi Goldberg comes to the aid of Jonathan Pryce, who plays a British spy being chased by the KGB. The code name “Crossfire Hurricane” is most likely a reference to the former British spy whose allegedly Russian-sourced reports on the Trump team’s alleged ties to Russia were used as evidence to secure a Foreign Intelligence Service Act secret warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page in October 2016: ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele.
The FBI’s spy was a man named Stefan Halper, a U.S./U.K. dual citizen with connections to intelligence agencies in both countries. Halper had met with Trump campaign members George Papadopoulos, Sam Clovis, and Carter Page in attempts to extract damning information against the Trump campaign. After Trump’s victory, Halper tried to pitch himself to be an ambassador to Asia but wasn’t given a position. (RELATED: Revealed: The Top Trump Staffer Who Got the FBI Mole On the Campaign!).
It’s interesting to see the role that British intelligence operatives played in this investigation. John Brennan had meetings with the head of the British intelligence agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, who passed along any surveillance of Trump campaign members they picked up. It was a British spy who authored the dossier – and now a British spy that was tasked to infiltrate the Trump campaign. (RELATED: Trump Rips Brennan – ‘Disgrace to the Intelligence Community’).