SPONSORED:

McConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHillicon Valley: GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal | Senate panel advances FCC nominee | Krebs says threats to election officials 'undermining democracy' On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday after attending a classified briefing that he continues to support special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds 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.