A White House lawyer's presence at classified intelligence briefings Thursday on the FBI's tactics in the Russia investigation came at the request of President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ MORE himself, according to his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Emmet Flood, a longtime Washington attorney who joined Trump's legal team earlier this month, gave brief remarks before a pair of meetings between senior law enforcement officials and key members of Congress at the Justice Department.

"The president personally wanted Emmet there today," Giuliani told ABC News.


The White House said that Flood and chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE made an appearance before the meetings began to stress the need "for as much openness as possible under the law."

However, the top Democrats on the House and Senate Intelligence committees denounced the presence of Flood at the meetings Thursday, which they attended.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLeaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight Mobile providers at center of privacy storm Senators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks MORE (D-Va.) said Flood, the White House lawyer handling the Russia investigation, had "no business showing up to a classified intelligence briefing."

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Memo: Trump’s troubles pile higher Hopes fade for bipartisan bills in age of confrontation Dems zero in on Trump and Russia MORE (D-Calif.), meanwhile, called it "completely inappropriate" and "entirely improper" for the lawyer to make an appearance at the meetings.

The meetings were brokered by the White House in response to Trump's concerns over an FBI source who contacted several advisers during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has asserted without evidence that the FBI "embedded" a "spy" in his campaign, claiming it was part of a politically motivated effort to hurt his campaign. 

Giuliani said he and the rest of Trump's legal team have yet to receive a readout of the information discussed in the meetings Thursday, ABC News reported.