Trump tells Democrats to re-do 'political and long' memo

Trump tells Democrats to re-do 'political and long' memo

What if the manufactured brouhaha over the Democratic memo's release is really just for optics, to make Trump and the GOP look like they're hiding something?

President Trump himself has previously claimed the Nunes memo "totally vindicates" him in the ongoing probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The Democratic memo, which remains classified, was meant to rebut claims in the Republican memo that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had obtained permission from a secret court to spy on Carter Page, a Trump campaign operative, in 2016 citing questionable material from a dossier prepared by a former British spy engaged on behalf of the Democratic party and its nominee Hillary Clinton.

President Trump declassified the Republican memo after it was revised to meet security objections, as well as objections by the Democrats. Democrats have been calling on Trump to release their memo for days. "And if it takes a little bit extra time to get the transparency and accountability out there, we should all respect that".

The White House announced Friday night (translation: news-dump o'clock) that it would not immediately approve the release of the Democratic memo. The Schiff memo is a 10-page document that responds to the Nunes memo, which alleges that the FBI abused its powers when it opened its investigation into Russia's meddling with the 2016 election.

The committee voted unanimously to release the memo on Monday, giving the president five days to determine whether to withhold the document on national security grounds.

Lewandowski accused Democrats of creating "another partisan issue" with their counter-memo due to putting information that "they knew the White House could not sign off on because of national security reasons".

Democrats knew the White House would have to edit or block the document, the Republicans said, thus exposing President Trump to charges of hypocrisy.

The President has said he would release the memo but chose not to after White House Lawyer Don Mcgahn said it contains 'numerous classified and sensitive passages'.

Democrats also said it was questionable that the White House sent the Democratic memo back to the panel's Republican majority, rather than submitting it to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the committee's ranking minority member.

That would allow them, he said, to "blame the White House for lack of transparency". The FBI publicly objected to the Nunes memo's release, suggesting the document left out key facts and was misleading.

Nunes said the request was "not a surprise" and that they "packed it full of sources and methods", though he said he and fellow Republican lawmakers prefer the Democrats' memo to be released, as long as certain redactions are included.

Schiff said the Grassley memo was "part of the same effort" to thwart claims of Russian collusion against Trump by putting the government "on trial". The warrant was obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

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