President Trump Claims ‘Spying’ on His Campaign Was Illegal. He’s Wrong

Under pressure from the special counsel Russia investigation US President Donald Trump continues to lash out at the

Under pressure from the special counsel Russia investigation US President Donald Trump continues to lash out at the

WASHINGTON ― Top congressional lawmakers and a White House attorney met with Justice Department officials on Thursday to discuss classified information about an FBI informant involved in the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump also tweeted: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State".

The Democrats say the GOP-only meeting is inappropriate for any investigation, "much less one involving the president". House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff said Flood's involvement was "entirely improper". "They're the same briefing", he said. "Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal", he said, without citing evidence, before referring to the matter as "one of the biggest political scandals in US history".

Rudy Giuliani said no final decision will be made on President Trump sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller until "the details of this "Spygate" situation" are figured out.

In what appeared to be an extraordinary concession to House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the briefings were ultimately conducted in two rounds - one, at noon, took place at the Department of Justice and was attended by Chairman Nunes, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Schiff, and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Trump is calling his newest attempt at discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation "spygate".

But Obama-era intelligence officials such as former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper blasted Trump for demanding accountability and transparency while claiming any spying was done for national security purposes.

However, he said that Democrats ended up getting caught in a major spy scandal - the likes of which this country may never have seen before.

Former FBI director James Comey

This outraged Democrats, who demanded that at least one member of the opposition party be included in the first meeting, so as to ensure that the administration was sharing the same information with Nunes as it was with the Gang of Eight.

US President Donald Trump today alleged that a spy was placed within his 2016 presidential campaign even before the opposition Democrats raised the issue of reported Russian collusion with his election team.

It remains unclear what, if any, spying was done. He demanded in recent days that the Justice Department investigate the matter and turn over records to Congress, ignoring warnings from law enforcement officials in his administration, that sharing the documents would put the informant and foreign intelligence partners at risk. The Justice Department had resisted sharing information, saying it jeopardized the source. Former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman was on MSNBC Wednesday morning to explain the difference between a spy and someone who just gives information to the authorities.

In response to Trump's tweet, the Justice Department said it would expand an open, internal investigation into the ongoing Russian Federation probe by examining whether there was any politically motivated surveillance.

While the Federal Bureau of Investigation disclosed the discovery of Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop weeks before the election, the only major story on the probe into her rival that leaked last October was a New York Times piece that all but exonerated Donald Trump in its headline.

In an interview with Politico, the former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is also representing Trump, said that information from the meeting could help accelerate the investigation.

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

The Justice Department's internal probe began in March at the request of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and congressional Republicans.

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