Democrats say briefings did not support Trump's claim of Federal Bureau of Investigation 'spy'

Sen. John Kennedy calls on Mueller to end Russia investigation ‘atmosphere of rumors

Sen. John Kennedy calls on Mueller to end Russia investigation ‘atmosphere of rumors

Mark Warner tweeted after the briefing.

"Neither Chief Kelly nor Mr. Flood actually attended the meetings but did make brief remarks before the meetings started to relay the President's desire for as much openness as possible under the law", Sanders said. Many think that this is another part of Trump's public relations war on the Justice Department for continuing the Russian Federation investigation and his deeply felt conviction that he is above the law.

Later Friday, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported that Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met at Trump Tower in New York days before the 2017 inauguration with a Russian billionaire who was sanctioned this year by the USA government. The president intensified his attacks this week, calling it "spygate" and tweeting Thursday that it was "Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in US history".

The president aggressively shot back at critics who have slammed his decision to cancel the planned North Korea summit, as well as his use of the term "animals" when referring to violent gangs entering the US illegally, a term the White House has consistently defended.

Nunes and Gowdy both declined comment after their briefing. "I look forward to the prompt completion of the intelligence committee's oversight work in this area now that they are getting the cooperation necessary for them to complete their work while protecting sources and methods".

It's still not clear whether the pair of meetings -- which became chaotic affairs over repeated changes to the invite list, time and place of the classified briefings -- would satisfy House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, who has threatened to hold Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress for not providing the documents he's seeking related to the confidential source.

After Democratic complaints and negotiations that went into the late evening Wednesday, the White House said it would also give a second briefing to a group of lawmakers known as the "Gang of Eight" immediately after the briefing for the two House Republicans.

Last Sunday, via Twitter, Trump demanded that the Justice Department concoct a transparently political investigation, with the aim of smearing veteran professionals at Justice and the FBI and also throwing mud at the previous administration.

BATON ROUGE LA – DECEMBER 10 U.S. Senator John Kennedy
BATON ROUGE LA – DECEMBER 10 U.S. Senator John Kennedy

Soon it was made public that Schiff would be allowed to attend the first briefing - meaning both gatherings would be bipartisan.

Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's attorneys, told The Associated Press on Friday that the White House hopes to get a readout of the information next week, particularly about the use of a longtime government informant who approached members of Trump's campaign in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

"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".

But after outcry from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the panel's top Democrat Adam Schiff was allowed to attend. The second, which lasted slightly longer on Capitol Hill, went to the Gang of Eight, which includes the Republican and Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, as well as the top Republicans and Democrats on the Intelligence committees. Pushing more speculation than facts, Trump unleashed a blistering tweetstorm Sunday aimed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department. And the White House said Kelly would organize the meeting with House lawmakers to discuss the documents, although he and other White House staffers would not be present.

The Justice Department agreed by expanding an open, internal investigation to determine whether there was any politically motivated surveillance.

It remains unclear what, if any, spying was done. Trump has made an unsubstantiated claim that an informant who contacted advisers to his 2016 campaign was a political "spy" planted inside the campaign.

TRUMP tweet: "Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign". Mueller took over the investigation when he was appointed special counsel in May 2017.

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