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The Latest: 2nd briefing on Russia probe wraps up

By The Associated Press  |  Posted May 24th, 2018 @ 2:53pm


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Russia investigation (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A second classified briefing for Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the Russia investigation has concluded on Capitol Hill.

Law enforcement and intelligence officials provided two separate closed-door briefings Thursday to members of Congress.

Both meetings were held as President Donald Trump is raising new suspicions about the federal investigation into his 2016 campaign, and whether there was improper use of an informant.

The White House helped broker the meetings. The White House says chief of staff John Kelly and lawyer Emmet Flood showed up to give remarks, but did not stay for the briefings.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says there's "no evidence" to support allegations of a government spy in the Trump campaign.

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4:30 p.m.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says there's "no evidence" to support allegations of a government spy in President Donald Trump's campaign.

Schiff was speaking after a classified Justice Department briefing on Capitol Hill Thursday.

He told reporters that "nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols."

Schiff spoke on behalf of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner.

The meeting with the so-called "gang of eight" included Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress and the intelligence committees.

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4 p.m.

White House lawyer Emmet Flood is among the officials who showed up for classified briefings on the Russia investigation for Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Flood and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly went to the Justice Department and Capitol Hill on Thursday for briefings with law enforcement and intelligence officials.

The White House says in a statement that neither official actually attended the meetings but instead gave brief remarks before they 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."

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11:58 a.m.

Members of Congress have begun arriving at the Justice Department for a classified briefing on the Russia investigation with law enforcement and intelligence officials.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, drove himself Thursday morning to the private briefing. The committee's chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, is also attending the meeting along with Rep. Trey Gowdy and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

A separate, larger briefing was scheduled for Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill.

Both meetings come as President Donald Trump raises new suspicions about the federal investigation into his 2016 campaign, and whether there was improper use of an informant.

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7:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump says that the FBI is a "fantastic institution" but that "some of the people at the top were rotten apples." He says, "James Comey was one of them."

In an interview aired Thursday on "Fox & Friends," Trump was asked to respond to a tweet a day earlier from former FBI director Comey, who had asked how Republicans would explain attacks on the FBI and lying about its work to their grandchildren.

Trump responded, "How is he going to explain to his grandchildren all of the lies, the deceit, all of the problems he's caused for this country?"

Trump has been raising suspicions about the federal investigation into his 2016 campaign, alleging that the FBI had been caught in a "major SPY scandal."

Trump fired Comey last year.

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12:30 a.m.

House and Senate lawmakers are set to meet with top intelligence officials as President Donald Trump raises new suspicions about the federal investigation into his 2016 campaign.

In recent days, Trump has been zeroing in on and sometimes embellishing reports that a longtime U.S. government informant approached members of his campaign during the presidential election in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

Amid those reports, the White House arranged the classified briefing Thursday for two Republican House members who had pressed for information on the outside informant.

After Democratic complaints and negotiations that went into the late evening Wednesday, the Justice Department said it would host a second classified briefing the same day for bipartisan congressional leaders.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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