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Senator Whitehouse Rejects Comey Offer of Private Briefing on Trump Wiretapping Claims

When Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey on March 8 demanding answers on “… possible wiretapping of President Trump, the Trump campaign, or Trump Tower” they were promised a response by today.

At the opening of a Judiciary Subcommittee meeting this afternoon, Graham announced that Comey had responded to his office today and that the FBI Director committed to providing an answer — but only via a classified, private briefing in the near future.

While Graham did not comment on Comey’s offer of only private information, Whitehouse, the committee’s ranking Democrat, was quick to say it is unacceptable under the circumstances.

“I think one of the things we have tried to do here is to proceed outside of a classified setting,” said Whitehouse. “The Intelligence committees are working in a classified setting and I think the added value this subcommittee provides is to be able to have a public discussion.”

“We are entitled to investigate under the Constitution. They have Executive responsibilities and if we are only connecting with one another in a classified fashion, I don’t think that serves the public interest. So we will pursue this further.”

While not addressing Whitehouse’s belief that Comey should provide answers in a non-classified setting, Graham has been working closely with Whitehouse and has stuck with the Rhode Island Democrat in trying to get answers.

“A lot of Americans are wondering what is going on here,” said Graham. “What I’m trying to do is get answers to the questions raised by President Trump. He’s asked us to investigate and we will.”

“And to me it’s very reasonable to ask the FBI and the Department of Justice, did you ever seek a warrant, was a warrant obtained from any court anywhere about the Trump campaign? And if the answer is no, we’ll know it didn’t happen. If the answer is yes, that would be pretty stunning to me because they would have to have probable cause. I don’t know what the answer is but I know it’s the right question to ask.”

Here’s more of Whitehouse in the committee meeting today:

Graham Not Fooled By Flynn – Well…

“Lieutenant General Flynn understands the important role the United States plays in the world order. I believe he will advocate for a stronger American leadership role as the best way to defend our nation. With this selection, I believe the days of America ‘leading from behind’ will be over.”

~ Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), November 18, 2016.

Ouch. Awkward.

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