President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE on Wednesday demanded that federal law enforcement officials show "total transparency" about sensitive information related to the earliest days of the Russia probe.
"What I want from Rod, from the FBI, from everybody — we want transparency," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, referring to his embattled deputy attorney general, Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE.
The president spoke one day before senior law enforcement and intelligence leaders are set to meet with Republican lawmakers to discuss classified information related to a confidential source who helped advance the FBI probe into Trump's campaign.
No Democrats were invited to the meeting, fueling criticism that the gathering is a politically motivated attempt by Trump and his allies to undercut the investigation — and perhaps fire Rosenstein.
Trump pushed back on those charges, saying, “We’re not undercutting. We’re cleaning everything up."
Trump also suggested the information that lawmakers will examine on Thursday would corroborate his claims that a "spy" was embedded in his campaign.
“When they look at the documents, I think they’re going to see a lot of bad things happened," Trump said. “I hope it’s not true, but it looks like it is.”
The president's backers have seized on the revelation of the informant as evidence that the investigation is tainted because the FBI was trying to entrap his campaign.
The FBI routinely uses confidential informants in counterintelligence investigations, and there is no public evidence of wrongdoing by the bureau.
Trump also hit back at former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign MORE, who accused Trump of telling a "lie" about spies being embedded in his campaign.
"What I am doing is a service to this country, and I did a great service to this country by firing James Comey," he said.