White House wants briefing on classified info, Giuliani says

Devin Nunes and President Donald Trump

Asked about one of Trump's tweets referring to the use of the informant as "Spygate" and claiming that it may be "one of the biggest political scandals in USA history", Haines said: "Surely, you realize that I think that's ridiculous".

White House lawyer Emmet Flood attended the start of two classified Justice Department briefings with lawmakers on a confidential intelligence source, adding to Democratic concerns that White House staff were taking part in the briefings on classified information that was related to the Russian Federation investigation.

The two meetings with select lawmakers, held last Thursday, were requested by Trump's GOP allies in Congress and arranged by the White House.

MARTIN: So another aspect of the Russian Federation investigation - we learned yesterday Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, sat for a second interview with a special counsel team last month. Initially offered only to Republicans, the briefings were the latest piece of stagecraft meant to publicize and bolster the allegations. The invite list evolved up until hours before the meeting - a reflection of the partisan distrust and the political wrangling.

Flood and White House chief of staff John Kelly attended the start of the briefings before leaving.

Experts say the fact that Nunes and other Republican lawmakers in the briefing haven't sounded any alarms after the briefing is a sign that they didn't learn anything they could politicize in Trump's favor. Mark Warner tweeted after the briefing.

In early May, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) asked the Justice Department for all documents about a us citizen who helped the special counsel investigation.

In recent days, Trump has been zeroing in on and sometimes embellishing reports that a longtime US government informant approached members of his campaign during the presidential election in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

Thursday, US President Donald ratcheted up his mission to expose "Spygate" Key actors, tweeting that trusted Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are beginning to turn on their corrupt bosses and zeroing in on "terrible" James Comey.

The Post and the Times declined to name the informant, noting that US intelligence officials have warned that revealing his name could expose him to risk. The person declined to be identified because the briefing was classified.

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Democrats - who fought to be included in the meeting - said that they learned of nothing to back up Trump's claims. Critics, including top congressional Democrats, argue that Republicans want to use the information to undercut the Russian Federation investigation, which is now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Nunes attended both briefings Thursday.

The White House later said in a statement that Kelly and Flood made brief remarks at the beginning of the meeting to "relay the President's desire for as much openness as possible" and departed before it actually began.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, said the meeting on the classified information had not changed his view that the FBI followed proper procedures during their investigation.

The first of Thursday's meetings was originally intended for two Republicans, Nunes and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy.

The substance of Halper's conduct has been nearly a sideshow in recent days, as lawmakers, the White House and the Justice Department have instead debated who would be invited to each briefing, and where they would be held. The request for the latest documents are the latest in a series of subpoenas to the Justice Department for sensitive information.

But the fact that this is what Trump does shouldn't distract us from the allegations here: Donald Trump is saying his predecessor as president used the leading law enforcement entity in the country to spy on him because Obama/the "deep state" didn't want someone as unconventional as Trump to be president.

"When individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that", Rubio said.

It remains unclear what, if any, spying was done.

Giuliani has taken those claims further, arguing in an interview with the Associated Press on Friday that what's Trump dubbed "SPYGATE" might make Mueller's investigation illegitimate.

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