Trump calls Democratic intelligence memo he blocked 'very political and long'

Getty Images

Getty Images

The Democrats' document details concerns about a four-page GOP memo alleging FBI bias against Trump in the Russian Federation investigation that was drafted by the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare).

Photo President Trump said a memo drafted by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee was "very political and long" and would have to be heavily redacted to protect "sources and methods (and more)".

The president said he had instructed the Democrats to "re-do and send back in proper form!"

"Republicans and Democrats on the Intelligence Committee voted UNANIMOUSLY to release the memo", tweeted Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama, a member of the committee. In retrospect, it looks as though the White House prepared the ground for his decision by saying all week that he was of a mind to release the memo - dampening expectations that his motivations were political.

Among the Republicans who publicly criticized the president for refusing to release the rebuttal was Justin Amash, of MI, who said the public has a right to examine both documents and draw their own conclusions.

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To then hide behind the same Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department you ignored a week ago in order to slow - or stop - the release of a memo that tells a story Trump doesn't believe or like is the height of hypocrisy.

In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee, White House Counsel Donald McGahn said although the President is "inclined to declassify" the Democratic memo, he is "unable to do so at this time" because it contains "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages". Late Friday, he vetoed the release of the Democratic memo, sending it back to the Intelligence Committee for revisions. The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that's harmful to him.

Feinstein's statement Friday also said any changes that need to be made for the Schiff memo to be declassified should be made swiftly and the memo "should be released". She added Trump "is not interesting in transparency, he is interested in protecting himself and derailing the Russian Federation investigation".

"We actually want the Democratic memo out". Moreover, critics say, he has repeatedly abused his powers to try to kill the probe, including by firing FBI Director James Comey and by heaping pressure on the FBI and Justice Department. It is 10 pages, while the GOP memo is four pages.

He went on to ridicule what he characterized as the contents of the Democrats' rebuttal memo. To then keep a competing memo from being released by citing the very people whose recommendation you ignored a week before is, even for this administration, stunning. Ryan also said he thought the Democratic document should be released.

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