President Donald Trump yells to reporters as he boards Air Force One for a trip to New York to discuss immigration policy, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Latest: Trump says he wants transparency in Russia probe

May 23, 2018 - 11:48 am
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Russia probe (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he wants transparency from everyone involved in the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump said Wednesday before leaving for a trip to New York that "what I want is total transparency."

Trump says he wants that from the FBI and from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel's investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign.

On Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Justice Department official Edward O'Callaghan are meeting with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Trey Gowdy to review secret Justice Department documents lawmakers have been demanding access to.

Trump predicts "people are going to see a lot of bad things happened."

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12:25 p.m.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi are asking the Justice Department to cancel a rare classified briefing for two House Republicans, saying it's "highly irregular and inappropriate."

The Democratic leaders say Thursday's meeting for President Donald Trump's congressional allies should instead include the bipartisan "Gang of 8." That consists of House and Senate leaders from both parties as well as the top leaders from both parties on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

The meeting with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform chairman Trey Gowdy was encouraged by Trump and brokered by the White House. Nunes has demanded information on an FBI source in the Russia investigation.

The Democrats say the GOP-only meeting is inappropriate for any investigation, "much less one involving the president."

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10:15 a.m.

Former FBI Director James Comey is defending the FBI's use of a secret informant in the Russia investigation, saying the practice is "tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country."

And he's criticizing the president and other Republicans for lying about the agency's work.

He tweeted Wednesday: "How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?"

President Donald Trump fired Comey last year amid the bureau's Russia investigation. The firing is now under investigation by the Justice Department's special counsel as possible obstruction of justice.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the FBI's use of a government informant amounts to "one of the biggest political scandals in history."

Comey, a former Republican who now identifies as an independent, warned the GOP: "Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country."

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7:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting about the "Criminal Deep State" and says its efforts to undermine him have backfired.

He's referring to the FBI's reliance on an outside informant to determine whether Trump's campaign aides were working with Russia ahead of the 2016 election. He tweeted Wednesday: "SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!"

Trump and his GOP supporters in Congress are now demanding information on that informant, suggesting it's proof that the Obama administration was trying to spy on his campaign.

Trump also tweeted: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!"

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12:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is declining to say whether he has confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the White House negotiated rare access to classified documents for Trump's congressional allies.

Trump was asked Tuesday if he has confidence in Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel's Russia investigation. The president told reporters to move on to another question.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says a meeting to allow House Republicans to review highly classified information on the Russia probe will happen Thursday.

Sanders says FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Justice Department official Edward O'Callaghan will meet with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy.

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