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Trump 'weighing his options' on release of Democratic memo - White House

10 February 2018

Despite Trump's objection to its release and command that it be rewritten, the issue may be out of his hands.

SHAPIRO: White House counsel Don McGahn says the president is inclined to declassify this memo but unable to do so. Tonight the White House says it will not declassify the rebuttal from Democrats.

It also alleges that DOJ official did not disclose to the court that the dossier was funded in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and that the Page surveillance application contained information about Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, which "triggered" the opening of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and allegations of ties to Russian Federation.

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.

The White House declassified the GOP memo-which is essentially Nunes' interpretation of still-classified documents-despite objections from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DOJ. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: "what is he hiding?"

On Capitol Hill, partisan sparring over the release of the memos has marked a low point in relations between Republicans and Democrats on the traditionally bipartisan committee, with many members expecting that the panel's once-united Russian Federation investigation will likely end with dueling majority and minority reports. "However, given the public interest in transparency in these unprecedented circumstances, the President has directed that Justice Department personnel be available to give technical assistance to the Committee, should the Committee wish to revise the February 5th Memorandum to mitigate the risks identified by the Department". Earlier this week, White House officials said the Democratic memo would go through the same national security and legal review as the Republican document.

The four-page document alleged law enforcement officials misled the FISA Court by not disclosing in an application for a warrant to surveil Page that they were relying in part on information funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

Controversial House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is said to be spearheading the head-scratching push to construct a physical barrier in the committee's secure spaces, according to CBS News.

"We think this (Democratic memo) will help inform the public of the many distortions and inaccuracies in the (Republican) memo", Schiff told reporters after Monday's vote.

They joined other Trump administration critics in calling the release of the Republican document an effort to undermine the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The president said the document "totally vindicates" him in the Russian Federation investigation, a claim disputed by Democrats and some Republicans.

"This memo totally vindicates "Trump" in probe", the president tweeted Saturday.

House Republicans who have seen the document had said portions will nearly certainly have to be redacted to protect intelligence sources and methods.