US President Donald Trump has demanded that the Justice Department investigate whether his presidential campaign was "infiltrated" or spied on for political purposes, prompting it to announce it would look into those issues.
Later on Sunday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement that "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action", CNN reports.
Trump's demand for an investigation into the actions of the Obama administration's FBI came on the heels of his repeated threats in recent weeks to "get involved" with the Justice Department if special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe doesn't end quickly-warnings that critics denounced as explicit threats to obstruct justice.
Trump again redirected the continuing investigation towards failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Democrats, Tony Podesta, the DNC, and politically biased FBI officials. The Washington Post too reported that in addition to Page and Papadopoulos, the source met with Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign's co-chairman, to talk about relations with China.
Bruce Fein, a former U.S. associate deputy attorney general, says there are valid reasons for the Russian investigation as too many people from Trump's campaign team associated with foreign officials.
The informant - an American academic working in the United Kingdom - had made contact with George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, the report said.
There was also concern among Trump-aligned lawmakers that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House counsel Donald McGahn may be trying to "water down" the president's position as a way of avoiding a potential crisis over highly sensitive materials that the Justice Department has always been wary of releasing, according to one person close to those Republicans. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Trump's claim of an embedded spy "nonsense".
The two GOP congressmen released a statement calling the meeting "productive" and expressing hope for a continued "dialogue" with the Justice Department.
Hours after Trump's tweet, a DOJ spokeswoman said the department has asked its inspector general to expand a probe launched in March.
Other Democrats have scoffed at the claims of a "spy" within the Trump campaign.
When you add it all up, today Trump demanded a counter-investigation into the legitimate, lawfully-predicated DOJ probe of his campaign, based on no evidence of wrongdoing, exclusively to undermine the special counsel - and he got it.
Law enforcement officials consider the informant's identity so sensitive that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been working over the past two weeks to mitigate the potential damage if his name was revealed, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Senator Mark Warner, who is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: "Publicly outing a source risks not only their life, but the lives of every American, because when sources are burned it makes it that much harder for every part of the intelligence community to gather intelligence on those who wish to do us harm". Wittes accused Trump of attempting to derail an investigation into his conduct. Page has been on the FBI's radar since 2013, when Russians reportedly first tried to recruit him.
One year into Mueller's investigation, the special prosecutor has brought charges against 19 people and three organizations.
The special counsel's office did not respond to a request for comment.