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 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Noam Galai, Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, President Trump and Joe Biden have focused little on some of the most sweeping trends that will outlive the fights of the moment.

Why it matters: Both have engaged on some issues, like climate change and China, on their own terms, and Biden has addressed themes like economic inequality that work to his advantage. But others have gone largely unmentioned — a missed opportunity to address big shifts that are changing the country.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.