Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

FBI's use of informants as old as the agency

FBI's use of informants as old as the agency

U.S. President Donald Trump has branded his latest attempt to discredit the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation as "spygate", part of a newly invigorated strategy embraced by his Republican colleagues to raise suspicions about the probe that has dogged his presidency since the start.

"No, no. We're not undercutting", Trump said.

"Just like they are coming to the defence of MS 13 thugs, saying that they are individuals & must be nurtured, or asking to end your big tax cuts & raise your taxes instead".

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had originally said no one from the White House would attend the briefing. Trump is blasting the move, which his allies are using to go after special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

Schiff said he was speaking for all the Democrats who attended including top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi, and top Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat Mark Warner.

The second briefing was for leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, as well as the bipartisan leaders of the congressional Intelligence panels.

The DOJ announcement capped a day of furious negotiations over the Thursday meeting for Nunes and Gowdy.

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. Ryan is attending fundraisers later Thursday in Houston.

Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said Wednesday evening that they had not yet received a response.

Former Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis told an Iowa radio show that he thought his meeting with Halper over coffee at a hotel outside Washington, D.C., was pretty benign and even nerdy. "What is the point of the separate briefing if not to cause partisan trouble?"

"Emmet Flood's presence and statement at the outset of both meetings today was completely inappropriate ... his involvement - in any capacity - was entirely improper, and I made this clear to him", Schiff said.

The Justice Department had rejected Nunes' original request, writing in a letter in April that his request for information could put lives in danger.

Members of the administration claim that an informant met with several key players like Carter Page and George Papadopolis to retrieve private information as part of larger effort to aid special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

"Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. What goes around, comes around!"

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

Giuliani said the legal team did expect questions on Trump's conduct after he took office.

Borrowing a term from an National Football League controversy over cheating allegations made against the New England Patriots, Trump has called the affair "spygate" and referred to the informant as a "spy".

Mr. Ryan, who has been criticized for not reining in House Republican attacks on the Russian Federation inquiry and federal law enforcement, defended the unusual meetings.

Former FBI Director James Comey expressed concern that the exposure of any FBI informant would undermine the powers of the intelligence apparatus, tweeting Wednesday, "The FBI's use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is ... essential to protecting the country".

"This has really taken the assault on the rule of law to a new level", Yates, whom Trump fired previous year after she refused to defend his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries, said during an appearance on CNN's "The Axe Files" that's scheduled to air Saturday". "How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?"

Trump said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a "fantastic institution" but that "some of the people at the top were rotten apples".

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