McConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Overnight Defense: Trump inviting Putin to DC | Senate to vote Monday on VA pick | Graham open to US-Russia military coordination in Syria Senate to vote Monday on Trump's VA nominee MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday after attending a classified briefing that he continues to support special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

McConnell told NPR that Mueller's investigation and a separate probe by the Justice Department's inspector general into the FBI's actions during the 2016 election will ultimately provide answers to a number of questions swirling around the presidential race.

"The two investigations going on that I think will give us the answers to the questions that you raise — the [inspector general] investigation in the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation," McConnell told NPR.

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"I support both of them, and I don't really have anything to add to this subject based upon the Gang of Eight briefing that we had today, which was classified."

McConnell's vote of confidence in Mueller's investigation came after he attended a highly classified meeting with top law enforcement and intelligence officials on Thursday.

The White House brokered a pair of briefings between lawmakers and top officials at the Justice Department to discuss the FBI's use of a top-secret informant in the early days of a counterintelligence probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election. 

The briefing attended by McConnell was given to the so-called Gang of Eight — a bipartisan group of lawmakers, consisting of the four top congressional leaders and the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

The White House had initially pushed for Justice Department officials to brief a select group of Republican lawmakers on Thursday, but arranged for a second, broader bipartisan briefing after facing pressure from Democrats and some Republicans.

Reports have indicated that the FBI source met with three advisers to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE's campaign during the 2016 election. Trump and his allies have claimed without evidence in recent days that the FBI used the informant to improperly spy on his campaign.

Trump has asserted that Mueller's investigation is a "hoax" and a "witch hunt" intended to undermine his presidency.