Trump refuses to declassify Democratic response to GOP Russia memo

Trump refuses to declassify Democratic response to GOP Russia memo

Trump refuses to declassify Democratic response to GOP Russia memo

The president took to social media Saturday morning to say Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee intentionally crafted their rebuttal memo to the GOP's controversial FISA memo in a way that would ensure he would reject it.

The Nunes memo claimed Democratic-funded research prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to spy on a former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page, which the White House said raised questions about Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice integrity.

They joined other Trump administration critics in calling the release of the Republican document an effort to undermine the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible links between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation, as well as possible obstruction of justice.

President Donald Trump on Saturday accused the Democrats of playing politics with classified information, asserting that their memo countering GOP allegations about the conduct of the FBI's Russian Federation probe was a trap meant to "blame the White House for lack of transparency".

Trump urged the Democrats to "re-do and send back in proper form!"

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Trump's decision to block the release of the memo infuriated Democrats, who said it showed a double standard on transparency on the part of the Republican president.

But the deeper question - one that has huge implications for the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation - is whether Trump is using his power to thwart any attempt by Congress to hold him accountable.

The Democrats slammed Trump for declining to give his consent to release the memo.

Remember that Trump was overheard telling Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-South Carolina, at the State of the Union that the Nunes memo would be released - even as the White House counsel and the national security team were still reviewing it.

He said they wanted him to refuse release to create the appearance of a coverup.

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Mueller is also investigating whether Trump interfered with that inquiry.

Citing national security concerns, the White House notified the House Intelligence Committee on Friday that the president was "unable" to declassify the Democratic memo. The Democratic memo was drawn from the same underlying documents as the Republican one.

Trump declassified the GOP memo over the objections of Rosenstein and Wray. "President Trump clearly doesn't want Americans to have access to the truth", Crowley said.

"I know the Nunes memo is misleading, and I know Congressman Schiff was seeking to provide a factual counterpoint", Feinstein said.

The minority memo describes in greater detail why law enforcement officials wanted to conduct surveillance on Page beyond the information contained in the Steele dossier, according to sources familiar with the document.

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The Nunes memo is four pages long. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has read the classified information both memos are based on.

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