What Grassley and Feinstein said about Trump, the FBI, and Russia

Finishing his statement, Grassley called on the FBI to “confirm to the public whether it is or is not investigating the president. Because it has failed to make this clear, speculation has run rampant.” In what appeared a clear nod toward Blumenthal, Grassley called on the FBI to brief all members of the Judiciary Committee “on what is actually going on.”

“Hopefully, that will help temper some of the unsubstantiated statements that have been made,” Grassley said.

Feinstein had a prepared statement of her own to make concerning the Comey firing, much of it criticizing the White House’s changing rationales for taking action, plus calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate. But before she began her prepared remarks, Feinstein said a few words addressing what Grassley had just said about Trump and targets of the investigation.

“Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman,” Feinstein said. “I very much appreciate what you’ve said, and it’s very accurate, and we were briefed. And the nature of the briefing was a counter-intelligence and criminal investigation that the FBI was carrying out, and more than that I will not say, either.”

What to make of the Grassley-Feinstein exchange? While nothing is ever completely clear in the Russia affair, it seems that Grassley was saying that Comey had told him, and Feinstein, that some individuals were targets of the FBI Russia probe, and that President Trump was not among them.