The Latest: Trump: ‘SPYGATE‘ may be among biggest scandals

The Latest: Comey defends FBI‘s use of secret informants

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Russia probe (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

Former FBI Director James Comey is defending the FBI‘s use of a secret informant in the Russia investigation, saying the practice is “tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country.”

And he‘s criticizing the president and other Republicans for lying about the agency‘s work.

He tweeted Wednesday: “How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?”

President Donald Trump fired Comey last year amid the bureau‘s Russia investigation. The firing is now under investigation by the Justice Department‘s special counsel as possible obstruction of justice.

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that the FBI‘s use of a government informant amounts to “one of the biggest political scandals in history.”

Comey, a former Republican who now identifies as an independent, warned the GOP: “Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country.”

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7:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump is tweeting about the “Criminal Deep State” and says its efforts to undermine him have backfired.

He‘s referring to the FBI‘s reliance on an outside informant to determine whether Trump‘s campaign aides were working with Russia ahead of the 2016 election. He tweeted Wednesday: “SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!”

Trump and his GOP supporters in Congress are now demanding information on that informant, suggesting it‘s proof that the Obama administration was trying to spy on his campaign.

Trump also tweeted: “Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!”

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12:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is declining to say whether he has confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the White House negotiated rare access to classified documents for Trump‘s congressional allies.

Trump was asked Tuesday if he has confidence in Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel‘s Russia investigation. The president told reporters to move on to another question.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says a meeting to allow House Republicans to review highly classified information on the Russia probe will happen Thursday.

Sanders says FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and Justice Department official Edward O‘Callaghan will meet with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy.

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