Trump says 'spies' in campaign would be unprecedented

Ivan Schwartz
May 23, 2018

Two Republican lawmakers - and no Democrats - are expected to attend a meeting on Thursday to allow them to review classified information relating to claims the Federal Bureau of Investigation used an informant to gather information on Trump's presidential campaign, the White House said on Tuesday.

Sanders said no White House staffers - including Kelly - will be present at Thursday's meeting.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced at a White House press briefing that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) would be the only two lawmakers at the meeting, which would also include FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O'Callaghan.

Sanders said Democrats weren't included in the meeting because they hadn't requested the records themselves, and suggested reporters ask them why they should be "randomly invited".

In recent days, the president and his congressional GOP allies have described the intelligence source as a "spy" who was sent to infiltrate his campaign on orders given by Obama White House officials.

Trump asked White House chief of staff John Kelly to set up the meeting, which comes after Justice officials have for months been reluctant to hand over any information on the matter to Republican members.

They also called for access, for Democrats as well as Republicans, to all documents related to the case.

U.S. officials have told CNN there was no such source planted inside Trump's campaign to provide information to investigators.

Moscow denies election meddling and Mr. Trump denies any collusion between Russian officials and his campaign, calling investigations a political witch hunt.

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But he refused to say whether he had confidence in Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, telling a reporter who asked what her next question was. She said Democrats were cut out because they had not requested the same materials that their Republican colleagues had.

Caputo said he has told the House Intelligence and Senate Intelligence Committees about the offer, as well as the special counsel team led by Robert Mueller.

A Justice Department spokeswoman referred inquiries to the White House. The Justice Department has in the past offered classified briefings to Nunes, though they have refused to turn over documents.

"It was a former contractor for that agency who said that actual staff members of the agency had Hillary Clinton-related emails", he added. Trump's lawyers are insisting on an audio recording of any interview with the President, so there is no question exactly what was said.

Sources have said, however, that Mueller will not accept written answers to questions.

"His "demand" DOJ investigate something they know to be untrue is an abuse of power, and an effort to distract from his growing legal problems", Schiff tweeted.

"But you can't be the one to fire him because we've got some weak-kneed Republicans out there who will come after you for firing the guy who needed firing", he recalled while holding a photo of himself whispering in Trump's ear last summer.

The Justice Department said the White House had signed off on its letter, but Nunes wasn't satisfied, and continued to pressure the department.

Other reports by GizPress

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