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Congressional leaders get briefings on Russian Federation probe

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FBI’s Russia documents will only be shared with GOP lawmakers

The woman who oversaw the Obama White House's response to the Russian election attack said she was never briefed on the FBI's use of an informant to investigate the Trump campaign and that it was "ridiculous" for President Trump to claim that the matter amounted to "one of the biggest political scandals in us history".

Republicans have argued that they need the classified information as part of their oversight work on the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the investigation into Trump and Russian Federation.

In recent days, he zeroed in on reports that a longtime United States government informant approached three members of his campaign in a bid to gather intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

President Donald Trump is accusing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team of "MEDDLING" in the upcoming midterm elections and blames Democrats for "Collusion".

The presence of a White House lawyer, Emmet Flood, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, alarmed Democrats at the briefing over concerns the officials would share information from the meetings for Trump's legal advantage.

"They were not. They were spying - a term I don't particularly like - on what the Russians were doing", Clapper said during an appearance on ABCs "The View" to promote a new book. They did nothing. They were anxious that Trump refused to divest himself of his businesses or release his tax returns or health information.

Nunes and Gowdy both declined comment after their briefing.

"Trump, in turn, has tweeted that Clapper said the President "'should be happy that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was SPYING on his campaign'".

Representing U.S. intelligence and law enforcement at the briefing will be Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of Intelligence Dan Coats.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that "SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!"

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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".

Nunes, an ardent Trump supporter, originally demanded the information on an FBI source in the Russian Federation investigation.

Among the topics the three men discussed was Vekselberg's desire for better relations between the United States and Russian Federation, the person said, who added that Vekselberg did not encounter Trump or any of his other advisers.

The Democrats who took part in the meetings on Thursday - House and Senate Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and the top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees, Adam Schiff and Warner - released a collective statement rejecting Trump's claim.

Clapper oversaw the USA intelligence community for over six years, during which the intelligence community concluded in a declassified report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump in the election.

Trump also rejected a reporter's suggestion that he was undercutting the work of the Justice Department. After negotiations with leaders on Capitol Hill, the White House announced the additional bipartisan meeting but said the original briefing would go on as well.

However, the president has faced criticism for attacking the Justice Department for alleging spying on the Trump campaign for political reasons.

"And at what point do we as Americans say it is not right to spy on a campaign", Meadows told host Margaret Brennan. Giuliani asked Friday. "They clearly did not get incriminating information or we'd have found out about it by now". The Justice Department hasn't said what information will be shared with lawmakers and Kelly about the informant. The Justice Department had resisted sharing information, saying it jeopardized the source.

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

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