Giuliani: White House wants briefing on classified meeting over Russia probe
Rudy Giuliani said Friday that the White House wants to know about details shared during a classified briefing for lawmakers this week on the origin of the FBI’s Russia probe, and may use the info to justify trying to shut down the special counsel investigation.
Giuliani, a member of President Trump’s personal legal team, told The Associated Press that the White House wants a readout of the information presented to lawmakers, particularly on the FBI’s use of Stefan Halper, an informant who reportedly contacted several advisers to Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
Trump and his allies have made unproven claims this week that the informant was used to “spy” on his campaign for political purposes.
“If the spying was inappropriate, that means we may have an entirely illegitimate investigation,” Giuliani told the AP.
“Coupled with Comey’s illegally leaked memos, this means the whole thing was a mistake and should never have happened,” Giuliani continued. “We’d urge the Justice Department to re-evaluate, to acknowledge they made a mistake. It’s a waste of $20 million of the taxpayers’ money. The whole thing is already a waste of money.”
Trump has long criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, calling it a “witch hunt.”
Trump and other Republicans have also attempted to sow doubt about the origin of the FBI’s investigation, which spawned Mueller’s special counsel probe.
Mueller’s team has brought charges against several former Trump campaign advisers, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
None of the charges brought forth by Mueller’s team so far relate directly to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference efforts in the 2016 election, but instead stem from alleged financial crimes and lying to the FBI, among other charges.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed confidence in Mueller’s ongoing investigation after attending one of the two classified briefings on Thursday about the Russia probe.
“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.
“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.”
Updated at 7:45 p.m.
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