Culture

Trump blocks release of Democratic memo that rebuts Republican claims

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of the controversial Republican memo alleging government surveillance abuse during the 2016 presidential campaign, said on Sunday the White House did not block the release of the Democrats' rebuttal to the GOP note.

The White House indicated on Friday that President Donald Trump won't declassify a memo from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, citing national security concerns.

Trump overrode strong Justice Department objections when he declassified a Republican memo alleging an abuse of surveillance powers in the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

His decision - and defense - comes just a week after he approved the release of a Republican memo on the same subject matter that the Democratic memo contradicts.

Trump claimed that memo "totally vindicates 'Trump, '" even though some Republicans like Rep. Trey Gowdy, the only Republican on the House Intelligence Committee to have actually seen the FISA applications, said the memo has nothing to do with the Russian Federation probe.

"This memo contains a large volume of classified information, including some touching on sources and methods heightening the potential damage to national security", Nunes said.

Schiff, the panel's top Democrat, said Trump was treating the 10-page document differently from the four-page Republican version commissioned by Nunes that was released earlier this month.

McGhann says Trump is "inclined" to approve release of the memo is the changes are made.

In this case, by contrast, the White House wasn't almost so eager to commit to a memo's release and is now suggesting it is bowing to concerns from the very same federal law enforcement entities whose objections it disregarded last time. She added: "Clearly, the president has something to hide".

The document is the Democrats' response to a four-page memorandum written by Republican legislator Devin Nunes, which Trump agreed to declassify and release on February 2 - against the advice of his own Federal Bureau of Investigation director and the Department of Justice. Earlier this week, White House officials said the Democratic memo would go through the same national security and legal review as the Republican document.

Trump told the Democrats they would need to work with the Department of Justice to redact "classified and especially sensitive passages" before the memo can be made public.

President Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to defend his decision not to declassify a memo written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee in response to a GOP memo the president declassified for release last week. "The rationale for releasing the #NunesMemo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that's harmful to him".

Schiff said he believes officials "followed all of the correct procedures" in drafting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to request surveillance on Page.

"The hypocrisy is on full display", said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.



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