President Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to defend his decision not to declassify a memo written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee in response to a GOP memo the president declassified for release last week.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had initially opposed the release of the Democratic memo, even as they voted to release the Republican-crafted memo. The president declassified the document last week, allowing its publication in full over the objections of the Justice Department.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) on February 5 said the House Intelligence Committee voted to release Democrats' response to a GOP memo alleging surveillance abuses.
Democrats had concerns with the GOP memo over sensitive information as well, but the president declassified that.
Rosenstein is now overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether there was any connection between Russians and Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.
But concerns from the same agencies were cited by the White House to block the Democrats' memo that is likely to challenge the conveniently complimentary narrative in the Republican memo.
White House Counsel Don McGahn invited the committee to "revise" the memo to address national security concerns, and wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Devin Nunes that the "Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft" for release. Ryan also said he thought the Democratic document should be released. Some Republicans likewise disagreed with the conclusions being drawn from that document. They say the GOP memo is designed as a distraction from the probe, which is looking into whether Trump's campaign was in any way connected to the Russian interference.
The central claim in the Nunes memo is that investigators from the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly obtained a surveillance warrant for Carter Page, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. It argued that the application to monitor Page via a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant misleadingly failed to disclose that evidence used from the Steele dossier had been paid for by Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) implied in an interview with Fox News on February 7 that longtime Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal also provided information to Steele. There have been reports the team wants to interview the president also.
What changed was that one memo affirmed what Trump already believed.
The White House is scrambling to contain the fallout from the spouse abuse allegations - especially for Chief of Staff John Kelly, who along with other senior officials had known about the accusations against Porter for months, according to some news reports.