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Democrats say briefings did not support Trump's claim of Federal Bureau of Investigation 'spy'
28 May 2018, 12:17 | Bernice Figueroa
US President Donald Trump
Their attendance was just one of the many twists that accompanied the remarkable back-to-back briefings between senior Trump administration officials and two different groups of lawmakers.
Unsafe time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything.
"They also conveyed the President's understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government". Those individuals left before the substance of it. He also said former FBI Director James Comey was guilty of an illegal leak when he directed a friend to share the contents of memos about his interactions with Trump to the media in May 2017, which led to bipartisan calls for a special counsel in the Russian Federation probe.
Giuliani later told CNN that he assumes Flood went to the meeting because the President wanted him there. According to a USA official familiar with the meeting, the briefers did not reveal the name of an informant.
Mueller, in the filing, said that he was not opposed to unsealing the two Manafort warrants that have been subject to legal challenges that Manafort has brought seeking to throw out certain evidence, with Mueller acknowledging that numerous details about them were already coming out in open court proceedings.
But after two briefings Thursday, there were no signs of an imminent showdown. Some also questioned whether the presence of Flood and Kelly violated Justice Department policy meant to limit contacts with the White House to specific circumstances.
It was not immediately clear whether the Justice Department had provided information that would allay conservatives' concerns, particularly those of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who has pushed vigorously for information about the FBI's source.
Democrats objected after Sanders announced Tuesday that they would not be invited, and a trio of influential Republicans - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, Sen. The person declined to be identified because the briefing was classified. Nunes, House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy and Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, met at the White House.
On Friday, Trump tweeted, "The Democrats are now alluding to the concept that having an Informant placed in an opposing party's campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be".
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has resisted past pressure from Trump to open or close politically charged cases, agreed this time to an apparent compromise: Investigating the investigators for any irregularities with Federal Bureau of Investigation tactics would be left to the Justice Department's inspector general.
Democrats, meanwhile, said that based on the information they had received, the president's claims of a political spy were unsupported. After the White House initially said it would hold that second briefing two weeks later, the administration agreed late Wednesday to give the "Gang of Eight" briefing the same day. The first meeting was held at the Justice Department while the "Gang of Eight" briefing was on Capitol Hill.
Democrats had asserted it was inappropriate that Nunes and Gowdy be granted their own briefing, though that was largely before Schiff was allowed to attend the earlier briefing.
Law enforcement officials have countered that using such informants amid counterintelligence investigations - which the FBI had launched in late July 2016 into Russian efforts to penetrate the Trump campaign - is standard procedure.
Trump could order the department to turn over documents, though some fear that could provoke a potentially catastrophic confrontation - with Justice Department leaders quitting in protest or refusing the order and forcing Trump to fire them. The investigation was opened after the hacking of Democratic emails that intelligence officials later formally attributed to Russian Federation. According to the US official and another person briefed on the Capitol Hill meeting, Nunes did not speak at all during the briefing.
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