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FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Congressional leaders from both the Republican and Democratic parties were briefed Thursday on the FBI's use of an informant in 2016, after the White House received backlash for not initially inviting Democrats to view the confidential information.

The VIPs: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Trump's Special Counsel Emmet Flood helped "facilitate" the meetings, and visited the Justice Department and Capitol Hill to offer opening remarks, according to a statement from the White House. However, neither were in the room when the classified information was disclosed.

What they're saying:

  • Rep. Adam Schiff told reporters that he saw “no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign.”
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mark Warner released a statement along with Rep. Schiff, saying, "Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a ‘spy’ in the Trump Campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols."
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell told NPR that he supports both the Inspector General investigation in the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation, and what he learned in the meeting doesn't change that.

Be smart: This whole thing was sparked by speculation from conservative writers. It was then picked up by President Trump, and has grown to become a key focal point in Washington. But as of now, there is still no public evidence to support claims that the FBI planted a source inside the Trump campaign.

Go deeper: An inside look at the suspected FBI informant, Stefan Halper

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.