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.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said there was "nothing particularly surprising" revealed in a classified briefing Thursday about oversight of the FBI's campaign-season investigation into Russia's influence operation and possible Trump campaign contacts.
In a statement, the White House said that Flood and Kelly went to the Department of Justice and Capitol Hill "to facilitate meetings between Members of Congress, DOJ, FBI, and DNI". 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.
It is unclear whether the Republicans who attended were satisfied with the briefings' outcome.
"Today's Gang of Eight briefing was conducted to ensure protection of sources and methods", California Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement, using the term that referred to a bipartisan group of leading lawmakers.
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.
We have strong institutions in this country. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said that no White House staff would be present at this meeting. Ryan did not attend the session.
Trump and his supporters have cast the apparent informant as a mole possibly sent by the Obama administration to burrow into his campaign.
Worst of all, we're going to end up doing it again.
A top congressional Democrat is urging the Justice Department and the FBI to launch a criminal investigation into how a confidential informant's name made its way into media coverage.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY, the top Senate Democrat, continued to push Thursday morning for the first meeting to be scrapped altogether, calling Nunes a "known partisan" out to undermine Mueller's investigation.
It remains unclear what, if any, spying was done.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports Sanders said Flood "will be joining the White House staff to represent the president and the administration against the Russian Federation witch hunt".
This was two years before Donald Trump launched his campaign for President, but not long after Flynn left the Obama administration after criticizing its failures to identify and fight the war Islam has declared on America and the West, as outlined in his must read book The Field of Fight. The whole Russian Federation investigation happened because of the Steele dossier!
As Republicans worked to show a Justice Department conspiracy against Trump, Democrats and former law enforcement officials defended the agency.
TRUMP tweet: "Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign".
The back and forth between Congress and the Justice Department over the Nunes request - one of many over the course of the Russian Federation investigation - has simmered for weeks.
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.
Over the past week, Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed that the "Obama administration" had planted a "spy" inside the Trump campaign for political purposes, prompting them to demand that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation turn over documents about a confidential informant - a former University of Cambridge professor - who had contacted three campaign advisers.