Donald Trump Says Robert Mueller Will Meddle In Midterm Elections

Geneva Stokes
May 29, 2018

President Donald Trump's legal team would advise that he refuse to submit to an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller unless the team can review classified information shared with select lawmakers about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's election meddling, Giuliani said Sunday, May 27.

Trump has zeroed in on, and at times embellished, reports that a longtime USA government informant approached members of his campaign in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Friday that President Donald Trump "probably" shouldn't use "Spygate" to describe the FBI's use of an informant in Trump's campaign during the 2016 election.

Trump fired Comey as the FBI investigated the Russian election interference, setting the stage for the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his wide-ranging inquiries. Then the Trump White House instructed the Justice Department to brief two Republican committee chairs, including shameless Trump lickspittle Rep. Devin Nunes, on the department's use of that informant.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Nunes and the other members of the intelligence committees are simply doing their work as appropriate.

The substance of Halper's conduct has been nearly a sideshow in recent days, as lawmakers, the White House and the Justice Department have instead debated who would be invited to each briefing, and where they would be held. Democrats pushed back that they weren't going to get the same information, so a bipartisan briefing will happen today as well.

But the attendee list for each meeting shifted nearly hourly, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying Thursday morning that he would attend the first meeting and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi later announcing that Schiff would also attend the first meeting. Negotiations over the information stalled, but restarted when Trump demanded in a tweet Sunday that the Justice Department investigate "whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes". I can tell you the President asked Chief of Staff Kelly to set up the meeting.

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The action then shifted to the US Capitol where Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats helped brief the so-called Gang of Eight.

"Trump, in turn, has tweeted that Clapper said the President "'should be happy that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was SPYING on his campaign'". Experts who have studied autocrats around the world for the past 30 years have identified four common tactics used by autocrats to attack the societal structure in which they reside to sure up their political hold on power.

An attorney for Clovis told NPR that he remembered meeting Halper but that they mostly discussed China, not Russian Federation or its active measures campaign in 2016. Three former Trump aides have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the investigation. Some also questioned whether the presence of Flood and Kelly violated Justice Department policy meant to limit contacts with the White House to specific circumstances.

The department originally rejected Nunes' appeal, writing in a letter in late April that his request for information "regarding a specific individual" could have severe consequences, including potential loss of human life.

Giuliani also said that learning about the confidential source is a prerequisite for any special counsel interview with the President.

"The goal there would be to protect national security by figuring out what Russia's intentions were and their efforts to infiltrate our political processes", she explained, noting the use of an informant was a way to keep the investigation from becoming public.

"Clapper said he didn't plan on writing a book but changed his mind because of Trump's presidency", the Hill reported.

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