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>> No, no. We're not undercutting. We're cleaning everything up.>> The President's supporters are hoping for vindication. His critics are calling it obfuscation. Either way, the meeting on Thursday between Justice Department officials and two Republican congressmen over the origins of the Russia probe and alleged political bias has set off alarm bells in Washington.
>> It certainly looks improper.>> Reuters correspondent, Jim Oliphant.>> The biggest concern right now is the independence of the Justice Department and the FBI. We have a President who's basically directing Justice Department officials to hand over sensitive information to members of the Congress, who may not take care of that information or may misrepresent that information.
And that could set a very bad precedent going forward, because the tradition has been, in the United States, that law enforcement, and the Justice Department, the FBI, remain independent of the White House. And what Trump has done since the beginning, really, is try to muddy that. And Trump has viewed the Justice Department more as an obligation to protect him, as President of the United States, than necessarily to serve the American people.
>> What I'm doing is a service to this country.>> At the last minute, House Speaker Paul Ryan joined the noon meeting, alongside Representatives Devin Nunez and Trey Gowdy, both of whom been close allies of Trump throughout the Mueller investigation. They were briefed by the FBI Director, the National Intelligence Director and the acting principle Associate Deputy Attorney General, about potentially classified information about an anonymous informant.
A separate group of house and senate leaders which will include Democrats are reportedly also getting a classified briefing from DOJ officials on Thursday.>> We want total transparency.