Trump explains refusal to declassify Dems' memo

President Donald Trump has blocked the release of a memo drafted by Democrats on the probe into his campaign's ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 US election

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intel committee, took issue with the administration's action.

Democrats had concerns with the GOP memo over sensitive information as well, but the president declassified that.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation objected to the declassification of the GOP memo released last week, which alleged senior Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ officials used the "Steele dossier" when seeking a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

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". Republicans backed the release, but several said they thought it should be redacted.

Mr. Trump huddled with Mr. Wray, principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Robert Hur and staff from the White House Counsel's Office "to receive their input" on the memo, said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah. We don't have people that can go out and arrest people and bring them down to the Capitol and hold them in the bowels of the Capitol.

Trump claimed the original memo "totally vindicated" him in his role in attempts to thwart the special counsel's investigation of the matter but investigators and even Republicans say it shows more illegal involvement in it.

On Saturday, Trump explained on Twitter why he chose to block the memo, calling for Democrats on the panel to "re-do" it. 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. Ryan also said he thought the Democratic document should be released.

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In this case, by contrast, the White House wasn't almost so eager to commit to a memo's release and is now suggesting it is bowing to concerns from the very same federal law enforcement entities whose objections it disregarded last time. It instead instructed Democrats to work with the Justice Department to adjust the memo so that it could be released publicly. But that would require the support of Republicans on the panel.

But Schiff said the warrant was obtained properly. Much of the underlying evidence, including the warrant application, remain classified.

On Saturday, Trump defended his decision on the rebuttal, saying the memo is "very political" and "long".

The previously released Republican text alleges anti-Trump bias in the Russian Federation probe.

The rebuttal was the latest Democratic volley against a Republican assault on the legitimacy of the government's Russian Federation investigation.

What appears obvious is the chair of the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, cherry-picked selective classified intelligence information to demean the work of our intelligence people in a manner meant to undercut the Mueller investigation.

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