Trump explains refusal to declassify Dems' memo

President Trump is expected to declassify the Democratic rebuttal memo on Friday an official said

President Trump is expected to declassify the Democratic rebuttal memo on Friday an official said

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump is putting his personal interest above the country's in blocking a memo that "completely undermines his claim of vindication" in special counsel Robert Mueller's continuing investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign's relationship with Russian interests and Russia's meddling in the election. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., released a criminal referral they had sent to the Justice Department earlier this year asking for an investigation into Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the so-called "Trump-Russia dossier".

The decision of Trump to block the release of the memo has sparked a fresh face-off between White House and Democrats, who said Trump's decision showed a double standard on transparency.

Trump followed up with a tweet Saturday saying Democrats "knew, because of sources and methods (and more)" that it could not be declassified and released in full. But congressional Democrats and Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep Trey Gowdy of SC, who helped draft the GOP memo, have said it shouldn't be used to undermine the special counsel. "The meaning of the "(and more)" was not immediately clear.

The president's rejection of the Democratic memo is in contrast to his enthusiastic embrace of releasing the Republican document, which he pledged before reading to make public.

US President Donald Trump on Saturday told Democratic lawmakers to refile a memo about the probe into his campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation, leaving a chance the document could still be released.

Mr. Schiff disputed the notion that the memo was improperly drafted, but when asked Sunday whether it contained sensitive information, he declined to say.

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".

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On Tuesday, Kelly told reporters that Trump hadn't yet read the 10-page Democratic rebuttal because it's "quite lengthy". "There ought to be ways in which the Democrats, the intel committee, can rewrite the memo without compromising sources and methods and get the full story out about what they feel is misleading about the Nunes memo".

The document in question was authored by Democrats on the intelligence panel.

McGahn wrote that portions of the Democratic memo would create "significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests", concerns which Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein raised in a separate letter.

The White House message caps off a week in which Republicans and Democrats on the committee have publicly fought, with the panel now erecting a wall to separate feuding Republican and Democratic staffers who had long sat side by side.

Trump Friday blocked the release of the memo which responds to a Republican memo alleging Justice Department surveillance abuses concerning Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

They argued that the reliance on Steele's material amounted to an improper politicization of the government's surveillance powers.

The Democratic memo is believed to elaborate on these points.

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