Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has a codename, and this name is derived from an unexpected source: a Rolling Stones song lyric.

Russia Probe Has Codename ‘Crossfire Hurricane’

Mueller’s probe — which is now entering its second year — bears the codename “Crossfire Hurricane,” according to a New York Times report on Wednesday.

The Times story explains that the name comes a lyric in from the Stones’ 1968 hit “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and that only a few FBI agents knew of that codename and used it at first.

“I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at the morning driving rain
But it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas
But it’s all right. I’m Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

During the summer of 2016, a pair of FBI agents flew to London on a top-secret mission to obtain evidence that Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer purportedly had on then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign. Downer reportedly talked about conversations he had with then-campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulous pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russian officials.

On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee drafted a bipartisan report that said they concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump win and sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Thus far, 13 Russian individuals and three Russian organizations have been indicted in Mueller’s probe into collusion between the Russian government and Trump campaign officials. Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and Paul Manafort have all been charged, but only one person has been convicted and sent to prison: Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, who received a 30-day jail sentence for lying to federal officials about his contacts with Gates, a former Trump aide.

Trump has repeatedly condemned the Russia inquiry as a “witch hunt,” and has cited the House Intelligence Committee’s findings that there is no evidence of collusion. Republicans on the House Intelligence panel in particular have found themselves increasingly at odds with other agencies and departments involved in the Russia probe, including the FBI and the Justice Department.


On Wednesday, Rudy Giuliani — one of Trump’s lawyers in the Russia investigation — said in an interview on Fox News that Mueller told the president’s defense team that he will listen to the Justice Department’s advice and not try to indict Trump.