Giuliani reverses: Trump should talk to Mueller

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has been making public appearances all week as part of the tour for his new book

This has led Democrats and several former intelligence officials to suggest that the president is intentionally misrepresenting reports that an Federal Bureau of Investigation source made contact with several Trump advisers to look into increasing concerns over foreign influence in the 2016 election, specifically his campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

Giuliani also said the president was unlikely to make changes at the Department of Justice and had no intention of firing Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or Attorney General Jeff Sessions - all three of whom have come under sustained attack from the president. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who brokered the meetings, will participate by getting them started, but will not stay, according to sources familiar with the matter. "They also conveyed the president's understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government".

The "Gang of 8" includes the Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate as well as the respective party leaders from the House and Senate intelligence committees. And Trump has taken up the cause as the White House tries to combat the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Sanders had also said previously that only Gowdy and Nunes would be briefed and that Democrats had been cut out because they had not asked for the information their Republican counterparts had.

Yates called Trump's inquiry "truly unprecedented", adding that the move is a step "beyond a unsafe point because it's not just directing a criminal investigation or to stop one but anyone, it directly relates to his campaign".

"I appreciate the Department arranging today's briefing", he said.

Expected attendees are FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, Justice Department official Edward O'Callaghan, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy.

The first briefing will take place at the Justice Department, the department said. He was referring to a group of eight bipartisan congressional leaders who receive briefings on the nation's most sensitive intelligence.

Democrats, for their part, emerged from the briefings unmoved.

But Democrats pushed to be included, and ultimately were allowed to hear the information from the confidential briefing.

"I was with DOJ for 27 years, and I can tell you that the men and women of the Department of Justice take the responsibility very seriously", Yates said. The question is whether he sees this "spy" nonsense as a way to discredit Mueller's eventual findings, or as a pretext for trying to end the investigation with a bloody purge akin to Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre".

Trump intensified his attacks Thursday, tweeting that it was "starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in USA history".

A congressional aide said conservative allies of the President - including Meadows and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, both of whom appealed to Trump directly last week for help in Republicans' quest for documents - remain concerned that they won't ultimately get their hands on documents they sought Trump's help to obtain, citing fears that the summit this week will not involve an actual review of the records.

The master of media manipulation held another of his tantalizing impromptu news conferences as he walked toward Marine One, heading to an event in NY where he said he plans to regale the crowd with more stories about the MS-13 gang.

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