When a 'spy' claim is insane but also totally legit

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WASHINGTON ― Top congressional lawmakers and a White House attorney met with Justice Department officials on Thursday to discuss classified information about an FBI informant involved in the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

In an interview with Reuters, Comey also said he would be leery of the Federal Bureau of Investigation trying to track propaganda in the United States, let alone take action against it, while acknowledging that it was a major problem for the USA political system. If a meeting takes place, Schumer said, it should include a broader bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The verbal proposal from the special counsel included about 16 subjects Mueller's team wanted to ask the President - including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Russian contacts with the campaign and the firing of national security adviser Mike Flynn.

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.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation held two classified meetings with leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives and the heads of the chambers' intelligence panels, after the president demanded a probe into allegations of infiltration into his team, a potential scandal Trump has branded "SPYGATE".

"If the spying was inappropriate, that means we may have an entirely illegitimate investigation", Giuliani said of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired previous year, also weighed in on the controversy Wednesday, chastising both the president and GOP lawmakers.

In a series of tweets, Trump indicated that he is more than convinced that the then Barack Obama administration placed a spy on his presidential campaign.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who was scheduled to travel to Texas for a fundraiser Thursday afternoon, planned to attend the noon meeting, as well, rather than the Gang of Eight session, an aide said.

A top congressional Democrat is urging the Justice Department and the FBI to launch a criminal investigation into how a confidential informant's name made its way into media coverage.

Trump now is zeroing in on - and at times embellishing - reports that a longtime us government informant approached members of his 2016 campaign during the presidential election in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

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

On Twitter, Trump suggested that the tables had turned on those investigating his campaign for possible collusion with Russian, writing: "What goes around, comes around!" The Justice Department had resisted sharing information, saying it jeopardized the source.

"How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?" he asked in his tweet.

The back and forth between Congress and the Justice Department has simmered for weeks.

An independent investigator from the Department of Justice responded to directives from the president to determine if there is any credence to the unsubstantiated claim.

The White House now says it is working to facilitate a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to review classified documents on the Russian Federation investigation this week, instead of after the Memorial Day recess, as promised earlier.