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McConnell: 'Nothing Surprising' at Briefing on Russia Probe

Lawmakers briefed on origins of FBI investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2018 12:15 AM CDT
DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein leaves a classified briefing about the federal investigation into President Trump's 2016 campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – Republican and Democratic lawmakers have gotten classified briefings about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, a highly unusual series of meetings prompted by partisan allegations that the bureau spied on the Trump campaign. Democrats emerged from the meetings saying they saw no evidence to support Republican allegations that the FBI acted inappropriately, although they did express grave concern about the presence of a White House lawyer at Thursday's briefings, the AP reports. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News he'd learned "nothing particularly surprising" but declined to go into detail.

Under direct pressure from the president, Justice Department officials agreed to grant Republicans a briefing, only later opening it up to Democrats. A White House lawyer, Emmet Flood, and White House chief of staff John Kelly showed up for both briefings Thursday, although the White House had earlier said it would keep a distance, drawing criticism from Democrats. It was unclear how much information was given to lawmakers. According to an official familiar with the meeting, the briefers didn't reveal the name of an informant. They brought documents but didn't share them, and they made several remarks about the importance of protecting intelligence sources and methods.

(Read more FBI stories.)

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