"That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone has ever seen", the president said during a White House sitdown with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy as well as FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Ed O'Callaghan of the Justice Department will be attending.
Previous charges about eavesdropping and "unmasking" were deflated, and skeptics say Trump is trying to change a story about potential wrongdoing by his campaign into one that casts doubt upon his predecessor, the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Thursday's meeting is the latest example, although it wasn't clear precisely what documents Nunes and Gowdy are expecting and whether they will receive them then.
While the president fumed over surveillance, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stunned some lawmakers by saying she wasn't aware of the USA intelligence assessment that Russia's meddling was meant to help Mr. Trump get elected.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., has also not promised the conservative Republicans pushing for a vote on their resolution that he will give it time on the floor. He said earlier Tuesday the Justice Department's independent inspector general should have the latitude to follow the investigation "where it needs to go". Lee Zeldin of NY and Mark Meadows of North Carolina said Ryan has not committed to bringing their 12-page resolution up for a vote.
On Sunday, via Twitter, Trump demanded that the Justice Department concoct a transparently political investigation, with the aim of smearing veteran professionals at Justice and the FBI and also throwing mud at the previous administration.
Trump has attacked one flank by demanding an expanded investigation into the ongoing inquiry about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether anyone in his campaign was involved. It's unclear exactly what the members will be allowed to review or if the Justice Department will be providing any documents to Congress.
Sanders said no White House staffers - including Kelly - will be present at Thursday's meeting.
Sanders said Democrats weren't included in the meeting because they hadn't requested the records themselves, and suggested reporters ask them why they should be "randomly invited".
In response to Trump's tweet, the Justice Department said it would expand an open, internal investigation into the ongoing Russian Federation probe by examining whether there was any politically motivated surveillance.
President Donald Trump's legal team is trying to cut a deal on the president's potential interview with special counsel Robert Mueller's team, pushing to keep any of Trump's actions after he won the presidency off the table.
Without substantiation, Trump tweeted in March 2017 that former president Barack Obama had conducted surveillance the previous October at Trump Tower, the NY skyscraper where Trump ran his campaign and transition and maintains a residence. In response, the Justice Department moved to defuse the confrontation by asking its watchdog to investigate whether there was inappropriate surveillance.
The Justice Department probe began in March at the request of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and congressional Republicans.
Nunes has demanded the Justice Department hand over records related to the Russian Federation investigation, including the unredacted memo outlining the scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's authority and the name of an informant the FBI used when it began a counterintelligence investigation of Trump's campaign in 2016.