Democrats condemned the Republicans-only meeting and the appearance of Flood at both briefings. Democrats were furious that Emmet Flood, President Trump's lawyer in the Russian Federation investigation, attended both meetings, along with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Clapper stressed that the dossier was never used as a source for the 2017 Intelligence Community assessment that stated the Russians interfered in the election for the goal of damaging Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonElection fears recede for House Republicans To woo black voters in Georgia, Dems need to change their course of action Trump lawyer touts petition to stop "soft coup" against Trump MORE and aiding Trump.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., defended the House Intelligence Committee's requests for records from the DOJ about the Russian Federation investigation, following several weeks of a contentious back-and-forth between House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and DOJ officials. He did not attend the second meeting, citing a scheduling conflict. "As always, I can not and will not comment on a classified session". "I've done a great service for this country by getting rid of him, by firing him".
A congressional source familiar with the meeting said that while present, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a staunch Trump defender, did not speak at all, and that other Republicans present did not aggressively push or defend Trump's spying allegations. He said the effort was to protect the US political system and "protect the campaign".
Initially, no Democrats were slated to be involved at all in the planned discussion about Halper, and then, when two meetings were scheduled, no Democrats were to come to the first.
Kelly and Flood's presence was notable, as it contradicted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders's assertion no one from the White House would attend. She did not return a request for comment Thursday. I'll guarantee you the answer is "yes". In the past, Nunes has refused to sit for briefings with Schiff.
"Well, some of what was in the dossier ... first of all, I need to make an important point here". Critics, including top congressional Democrats, argue that Republicans want to use the information to undercut the Russian Federation investigation, which is now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, wants an investigation into how the name of a confidential intelligence source appeared in the press. "That is why we have insisted and will continue to insist on Congress's constitutional right to information necessary for the conduct of oversight".
Trump's broadside came a day after Comey spoke amid Trump's continuing insistence that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had spied on his campaign during the 2016 election - an episode Trump has dubbed "spygate".
The president demanded the Justice Department investigate the accusations and turn over any relevant documents to Congress.
Trump responded to Comey's tweet in an exclusive interview with "Fox & Friends" Thursday. But in the past 24 hours, fears about the substance of the meeting have taken a back seat to political bickering about the guest list. Lindsey Graham of SC and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas - also tried to push for access to the materials.
From what we know so far, Obama's spies spied on Trump in seven spying ways.