McConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony McCarthy, McConnell say they didn't watch Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Ky.) said Thursday after attending a classified briefing that he continues to support special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit 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.