Trump blocks Democrat memo as 'political'

Trump blocks Democrat memo as 'political'

A classified memo by congressional Democrats related to investigations of Russian influence in the 2016 USA presidential election is "very political and long" and must be "heavily redacted" before it could be released, President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday.

White House counsel Don McGahn on Friday wrote a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and author of the Republican memo, that Trump is "inclined to declassify" the Democratic memo - but, he said, because the document contains "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive pages", the president isn't able to do so. The "very political and long" document had to be redone and sent back "in proper form", the president said.

Trump's decision to block the release of the memo infuriated Democrats, who said it showed a double standard on transparency on the part of the Republican president.

The memo from U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, contained information that would raise national security or law enforcement concerns if released publicly, according to a White House letter that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray signed, CNN reported.

Schiff pointed out the President's different treatment of the memos in a tweet Saturday, noting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had released a statement on the Republicans' document expressing "grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy".

Top DOJ officials opposed the release of the original memo, arguing that it revealed too much about the methods used by investigators in tracking foreign threats, but Trump seemed unswayed by any of the concerns. Ultimately, the decision may not be up to Trump, but he continued his offensive against the Democrats' counter memo on Saturday morning.

President Trump's refusal to release Intelligence Committee Democrats' memo is a stunningly brazen attempt to cover up the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal from the American people.

A tactic that would allow them to then attack the White House for not being transparent. Currently, Republicans hold majorities in both chambers.

It's not yet clear whether enough Republicans would vote in favor of the memo's release.

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.

Democrats said it mischaracterized highly sensitive classified information and was meant to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of potential collusion between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russian Federation.

"Any minor redactions should be made as quickly as possible and the memo should be released", she said.

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