The story comes ahead of the release of the pending Department of Justice inspector general report on the FBI's actions during the 2016 election, and likely is an attempt by the leakers to paint the FBI's efforts in the most flattering light possible.
But the story revealed that the FBI – which is supposed to be an apolitical agency – was spying on the Trump campaign through phone records and with "at least one" human asset.
"The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos," the Times reported, citing "current and former officials."
The revelation of "at least one government informant" appears to confirm a Washington Post story last week in which leakers revealed that the FBI had a "top secret intelligence source" — a U.S. citizen who likely lived overseas — who had spied on members of the Trump campaign for the FBI.