By Matt Ford
President Donald Trump has refused to release a Democratic rebuttal of a discredited Republican memo that alleges surveillance abuses in the Russia investigation. “Although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time,” White House Counsel Don McGahn wrote in a letter to Congressman Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. McGahn added that the administration “stands ready to review” a revised draft of the memo.
Advertisement - story continues below
There’s good reason to doubt the White House’s concerns. Last week, the Justice Department asked Trump not to approve the release of the Republicans’ memo (known as the Nunes memo). In a rare statement, the FBI said it had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” But the president shrugged off that advice, apparently more interested in the Nunes memo’s political gain.
Trump suggested on Saturday morning that his concerns weren’t limited to the potential impact on national security, describing the memo as “very political,” a phrase he did not use for the Nunes memo after it was pushed out of the House Intelligence Committee on a party-line vote. He cast the Democrats memo as a trap of sorts ...