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Dems taking another run at blocked memo on Russian Federation probe

Dems taking another run at blocked memo on Russian Federation probe

President Donald Trump on Friday refused to allow public disclosure of a Democratic response to a contentious House Republican memo on the FBI's Russian Federation probe - which Trump approved for release last week.

In a letter to the commission, White House lawyer Donald McGahn said: "Although the president is inclined to declassify the February 5 memorandum, because the memorandum contains numerous classified and especially sensitive passages, he cannot do so in this moment".

Trump called the memo "very political and long" in a tweet on Saturday and said he told Democrats "to re-do".

Senator Dianne Feinstein, meanwhile, described President Trump's decision to block the release as "hypocrisy at its worse", arguing: "I have reviewed the classified documents that underpin both memos".

Some Republicans have claimed the Democratic memo involved more substantial information about law enforcement sources and methods.

On Friday, the president met with FBI Director Christopher Wray, the principal associate deputy attorney general and the White House counsel's office to discuss the Democratic memo, according to the White House. "Clearly the president has something to hide", she said.

House Intelligence Committee Chief Devin Nunes urged Democrats on Friday, to make the appropriate technical changes and redactions to the classified document. Trump denies collusion with Moscow.

The FBI had previously issued a highly unusual warning against releasing the memo from Republican Nunes, saying it could jeopardize United States intelligence collection methods.

Could a North Korean athlete defect to South Korea during the Olympics?
During the women's 500 meters short-track speedskating, North Korean fans held up the Korean Unification flag unification flags. The meeting took place after Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates attended the Olympics' opening ceremony.

Nunes, for his part, said it was "no surprise" that the Schiff memo wasn't released, given its lack of redactions.

The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release the Democratic memo.

After the memo was released, Gowdy said on Twitter that it did not discredit Mueller's probe.

The four-page document prepared by the Republicans sharply criticized the decision-making mechanism in the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which were allegedly biased in favor of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In response, a memo was prepared by Democrats that reportedly contests and further details the claims made by Republicans.

The White House message caps off a week in which Republicans and Democrats on the committee have publicly fought, with the panel now erecting a wall to separate feuding Republican and Democratic staffers who had long sat side by side. Chairman Devin Nunes sought to connect the FISA applications to the so-called "Trump dossier", the unconfirmed report compiled by an ex-British spy detailing alleged ties between President Trump and Russian Federation. What we do know is that the White House didn't treat these memos the same, as it promised it would.

Ruth Marcus with The Washington Post claimed during an MSNBC appearance on February 3 that it is "really important for people to know" that FISA applications "are thick documents" and that the Republicans "cherry-pick [ed]" in the Nunes memo.

Republicans contend that senior law enforcement officials were - and still are - biased against Trump, something the president also says frequently.


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