Congressional Democrats who attended a classified briefing with top Justice Department officials Thursday said that there is “no evidence” that the FBI placed a spy in the Trump campaign, hitting back at an unsubstantiated claim by President Trump.
“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,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on behalf of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
The statement came after FBI, DOJ and intelligence officials held two separate meetings to brief lawmakers about the FBI informant, who was reportedly in contact with three members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump recently claimed that the Justice Department put a “spy” in his campaign.
“Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit,” Trump tweeted last week.
“Really bad stuff!” he added.
“Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.” David Asman @LouDobbs @GreggJarrett Really bad stuff!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
The Hill added:
Reps. Devin Nunes (Calif.) and Schiff – the top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, respectively – attended the first meeting at the Justice Department on Thursday, which was also arranged for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
The second meeting included members of the “Gang of Eight,” which is composed of the Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate as well as the top Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence committees in both chambers.
Democrats blasted House Republicans and the White House over the first meeting, a closed-door briefing in which only Republicans were initially invited. It was later revealed that Schiff, the top House Intelligence Committee Democrat, attended both meetings.
Warner referred to the first briefing as “rogue.”
“I call the noon meeting a rogue meeting,” he told reporters. “The Gang of Eight meeting … I hope they will continue with that appropriate process on any kind of effort going forward.”