WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested nothing earth-shattering was revealed in a classified briefing by FBI and DoJ officials to congressional leaders about surveillance of the Trump campaign.
“Nothing particularly surprising,” McConnell told Fox News on Thursday evening. “But again it was classified so there’s no real reporting I can give to you.”
Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats travelled Thursday to Capitol Hill to brief House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and McConnell. CNN reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House attorney Emmett Flood were present at the beginning of the meeting.
The Democratic participants said the briefing reinforced their view that reports of unauthorized surveillance are false.
“Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a ‘spy’ in the Trump Campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols,” Schumer, Pelosi, Warner and Schiff said in a joint statement.
A separate meeting was held earlier in the day at DoJ in which Nunes, Schiff, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were briefed.
Democrats opposed holding separate meetings. They argued that in doing so the integrity of historically bipartisan intelligence briefings was comprised.
Republicans have said that the FBI and DoJ have displayed bias against Trump in their investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. They say Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team includes many Democrats and Hillary Clinton loyalists.
Earlier this week, House Republicans proposed legislation to appoint a second special counsel to look into claims of surveillance abuse as well as the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton in the Clinton email probe.