There is “probably no doubt” that the FBI planted “at least one confidential informant” in President Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said Thursday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

The New York Times buried a key piece of information inside a piece published Thursday when it noted that “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. [Carter] Page and [George] Papadopoulos,” two former Trump campaign advisers.

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The Times’ report came on the one-year anniversary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment to head the probe into allegations of collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

“I’ve written a couple of columns in the last week or so pointing out that there is probably no doubt that [the FBI] had at least one confidential informant in the campaign,” said McCarthy (pictured above right), a National Review contributor and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

After combing through the anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages exchanged by FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, McCarthy noted that the texts show “that they obviously opened an investigation late July, early August of 2016.”

“What we now know from the Times article — that’s all true,” McCarthy said. “But the lead that they buried is — the word that you almost never see in the Times [piece] … is counterintelligence.”

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McCarthy said that FBI officials “did not have a criminal predicate to open an investigation” into Trump like they did the “immense criminal predicate” they had to open and conduct their investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business while serving as secretary of state.

“And what they did was use their counterintelligence powers covertly to investigate the Trump campaign during the stretch run of the campaign under circumstances where they did not have evidence that anyone had actually committed a crime,” McCarthy insisted.

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“I think what people need to look here at is they didn’t have a criminal predicate to investigate people in the Trump campaign they did, and they used their counterintelligence powers as a pretext to investigate the Trump campaign in the hope of making a criminal case.”

Ultimately, however, there appears to be “virtually no evidence” tying the Trump campaign “to any cyberespionage by Russia,” McCarthy said. Thus, he argued, the FBI should have acted in a “measured and hands-off” manner “until that kind of evidence develops.”

“And I don’t think it ever did,” McCarthy said.

Trump himself took to Twitter Thursday to highlight McCarthy’s Fox News interview and slam the “Witch Hunt” on its one-year anniversary under Mueller.

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“Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History…and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction. The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!” Trump tweeted.

“Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” 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!” Trump added.

The president also mocked the “Haters,” writing, “Despite the disgusting, illegal and unwarranted Witch Hunt, we have had the most successful first 17 month Administration in U.S. history — by far! Sorry to the Fake News Media and ‘Haters,’ but that’s the way it is!”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News host Laura Ingraham Wednesday on “The Ingraham Angle” that it was high time for Mueller to bring the probe “to a close” because it’s “not good for the American people” to prolong it further.

“We’re trying to get [Mueller] to end this,” Giuliani said. “This 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 or us.”

“So it’s about time to get the darn thing over with,” Giuliani added. “It’s about time to say, ‘Enough, we’ve tortured this president enough.'”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.