Trump says Comey among 'rotten apples' in Federal Bureau of Investigation

Trump rips Clapper on spying comments ‘I am not happy

Trump rips Clapper on spying comments ‘I am not happy

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. "After making their brief comments they departed before the meetings officially started".

The White House statement says the officials communicated the "president's desire for as much openness as possible under the law" and "conveyed the president's understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government".

But Democrats slammed the fact that Flood was there at all.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, later criticized their presence at the latter meeting. Those individuals left before the substance of it.

Nunes, at least officially, was requesting the documents in his role of Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which has the power to conduct oversight over the intelligence community.

While Yates would not comment on the allegations of spying, deferring comment on the investigation to the Justice Department and FBI, she said she was confident the investigation would bear out the truth. If his cards contain materials from confidential sources - people whose identities he promised not to reveal - or if his cards contain evidence he presented to a grand jury, he may not lawfully reveal what he has until it is time to exonerate the president, indict him or present a report to Mueller's DOJ superiors that is intended for the House of Representatives.

Explaining a new policy aimed at stopping "piling on"-situations where companies are punished a few times for the same crime by different government agencies-he said: "The dictionary defines "piling on" as joining other people in criticizing someone, usually in an unfair manner".

But after two briefings Thursday, there were no signs of an imminent showdown.

"To me, it stretches logic and credulity to think that there was no impact", Clapper said.

Also attending the meeting were FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Edward O'Callaghan, a top Justice Department Official. According to the USA official and another person briefed on the Capitol Hill meeting, Nunes did not speak at all during the briefing.

After the meetings were over, the Democrats who attended released a brief statement. "I don't know where he's getting that from, honestly", he added. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was not in the meetings but, in a radio interview Friday, broke with the president to say a "confidential informant is not a spy", though he cautioned about investigations into campaigns.

President Donald Trump's unproved assertions that the Federal Bureau of Investigation spied on his campaign puts a twist on an old trial lawyer's saying.

Democrats demanded to receive the same briefing. A White House lawyer, Emmet Flood, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly showed up for both briefings, although the White House had earlier said it would keep a distance, drawing criticism from Democrats.

The first, as we noted on Tuesday, is that Halper contacted Papadopoulos and Page only after they were already on the FBI's radar. The first meeting was held at the Justice Department while the "Gang of Eight" briefing was on Capitol Hill. But Nunes isn't even bothering to pretend like the request has a legitimate goal.

More to the point, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in 2016 to undermine our democracy, repeatedly called a "witch hunt" by Trump, has resulted in 22 indictments or guilty pleas and a sentencing. The Justice Department had resisted sharing information, saying it jeopardized the source. "So what they're calling an informant, the Republicans are calling a spy... they're talking about the same thing".

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