Senate

Flake blasts news that Dems not invited to briefing on Russia docs: 'This is not right'

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday criticized the White House for excluding Democrats from a meeting with top intelligence officials about a confidential FBI source in the Russia probe.

"This is not right. Briefings like this should be bipartisan," Flake tweeted.

Flake, who is retiring from Congress when his term ends in January, has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration.

The White House said Tuesday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) will meet Thursday with FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and top Justice Department official Ed O'Callaghan.

White House chief of staff John Kelly arranged the meeting, but will not be there himself. No White House officials will be in attendance, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Sanders said no Democrats were invited because they were not the ones requesting information about the FBI source.

Democrats criticized the partisan nature of the meeting, and on Wednesday Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to cancel the meeting.

Schumer and Pelosi suggested he hold a bipartisan briefing instead with congressional leadership from the House and Senate.

The FBI source has become a source of controversy in recent weeks. President Trump has seized on it as evidence of bias at the agency, claiming without evidence that the FBI spied on his campaign for political purposes.

On Wednesday morning, the president dubbed the matter "spygate" and claimed it could be "one of the biggest political scandals in history."

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