Trump accuses Democrats of playing politics with memo

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

The immediate result of President Donald Trump's decision to block the release of a Democratic memo on the Russian Federation investigation is to expose him to charges of hypocrisy.

A week after allowing the release of a memo from House Intelligence Committee GOP staff alleging FISA abuse in the surveillance of campaign advisor Carter Page, President Trump made a decision to block the declassification of a rebuttal memo from committee Democrats.

The president cited national security concerns in his decision and requested that sensitive information be redacted before the document is released, sending congressional Democrats into a fury over what some saw as an attempt to avoid transparency in the White House.

U.S. president Donald Trump has blocked, for "this time", the declassification of a memo prepared by Democrats of a congressional committee probing Russian meddling that sought to rebut a Republican version he had allowed to be released and whose findings he had embraced. Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wants to show the Nunes memo is misleading, but also has to walk a fine line by not disclosing intelligence and more about the FISA process - a tightrope walk the White House can exploit.

President Donald Trump will not declassify the Democrats' current memo on the Russian Federation investigation, the White House announced Friday night. "This is hypocrisy at its worst", Feinstein said.

The FBI had also warned against declassifying the Republican document, saying it had "grave concerns about material omissions" that made it misleading, but Trump overrode those concerns and declassified it on February 2.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted Trump's decision, saying Friday that the president's "double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling". He said the call "makes a mockery of national security and common sense".

Trump, however, directed the Justice Department to give any technical assistance the committee might need to revise the memo to "mitigate the risks identified by the Department", McGahn said, adding, "The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts".

The Nunes memo alleged that senior DOJ officials inappropriately relied on the research, paid for in part by Hillary Clinton, to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Trump has said the heavily disputed GOP memo "totally vindicates" him in the special counsel's investigation.

They also noted that there was other evidence presented to the court besides Steele's information, though they have not provided details.

"I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the bureau or the Department of Justice to say it needs to be redacted". But, he said, Trump was ready to take another look at a revised memo that addressed those concerns. They noted that federal law enforcement officials had informed the court about the political origins of Steele's work and that some of the former spy's information was corroborated by the FBI. "And now the Democrats are doing their memo, and we're in memo hell".

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