Trump says 'spygate' is a concern

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The meeting scheduled for Thursday was encouraged by Trump and brokered by the White House. "It is a breach of the duty we owe to these men and women, who serve our country at great risk and trust us to protect their identities". Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may hope that is enough to avoid a showdown.

Asked before a private meeting Tuesday with the president of South Korea if he has confidence in Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation, he told reporters to move on to another question.

The Thursday meeting attendees will be Representatives Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, and Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said no Democrats were invited because they had not requested the information, despite calls from lawmakers for the briefing to be bipartisan.

As he left the Gang of 8 briefing, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Virg., called the smaller, noon briefing at DOJ a "rogue" meeting. Administration officials held two separate briefings Thursday: one for Nunes at the Justice Department and another on Capitol Hill for the Gang of Eight.

Details about the meetings continued to shift Thursday morning. Instead, some members fear the meeting will feature just another round of negotiations over a future document production that may never materialize, the aide said.

The plans for the briefings - even those that were announced publicly - changed repeatedly in the hours leading up to them, the apparent result of a behind-the-scenes, partisan tug-of-war about who should be briefed, where, and alongside whom.

Information about Halper was first leaked by the Daily Caller.

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Inherent in the Intelligence Committee's work "is the responsibility to ask tough questions of the executive branch", he said in a statement.

Nunes, an ardent Trump supporter, had originally requested the information on an FBI source in the Russian Federation investigation. Trump's only rational goal is casting doubt on the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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. "What goes around, comes around!"

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

Trump's demand for an investigation followed news reports that the FBI used an informant to make contact with members of his campaign, only after the agency obtained information that members of the president's team had suspicious contacts with Russians during the 2016 election. "A lot of people have said it".

"A source familiar with one of the meetings told Reuters that Nunes "did not speak at all" at his briefing, Vanity Fair reported last night, "and that his Republican colleagues 'did not aggressively push or defend Trump's spying allegations.'" Is POTUS out on a limb this time? The howls are a diversion from the actual crisis: the Justice Department's unprecedented contempt for duly elected representatives, and the lasting harm it is doing to law enforcement and to the department's relationship with Congress. Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump a year ago, tweeted Wednesday that the agency's use of secret informants was "tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country". But NPR and other news outlets have identified him as Stefan Halper, a retired professor who served in several Republican presidential administrations.

In an interview airing Thursday on "Fox & Friends", Trump referred to Comey as one of the "rotten apples" in Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership.