President Trump doesn't often have good things to say about the New York Times, but on Friday he liked what he read in the newspaper. In a tweet, Trump called attention to a report saying that the FBI had sent an undercover agent to meet with a Trump campaign aide in 2016. The president sees this as evidence that the agency was out to get him for political reasons. "Finally, Mainstream Media is getting involved - too 'hot' to avoid," Trump wrote, referencing the story and saying it showed the FBI wanted to "spy" on him. "Pulitzer Prize anyone?" His closing line: "This is bigger than WATERGATE, but the reverse!" The Times report says the FBI sent a female agent, posing as a professor's research assistant, to meet with campaign aide George Papadopoulos in a London bar.
The agency already had opened an investigation into the campaign's ties to Russia, and the undercover agent asked Papadopoulos flat out whether the campaign was working with the nation. Nothing came of the meeting, and the FBI's tactics from that period in the campaign are now being examined by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz. Mike Pence on Friday told Fox News the report was "very troubling" and echoed Attorney General William Barr's characterization that "spying" on the Trump campaign occurred, reports Politico. “We need to understand why there was, whether there was a sufficient predicate." The Times has previously reported that the FBI opened its 2016 inquiry only after receiving evidence of "suspicious contacts." (Read more President Trump stories.)