Trump says Republican memo 'totally vindicates' him

Adjust Comment Print

MARGARET BRENNAN: Saturday, President Trump tweeted that the memo "totally vindicated Trump" in the Russian Federation probe.

A Republican on the House Intelligence Committee who voted in favor of releasing a controversial GOP memo alleging abuse of government surveillance powers in the Russian Federation investigation said he doesn't agree with President Donald Trump's claim that the document "totally vindicates" him.

The memo acknowledges that Papadopoulos, not Page, "triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016". Trump has insisted there was no collusion by his campaign and has called the Mueller probe a "witch hunt" and a "hoax".

Democrats argue that a now published 3½-page memo, which was compiled by Republican aides to the committee chairman Devin Nunes, is misleading and selectively draws on information provided to the committee by intelligence agencies about their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The memo was made public Friday after Trump declassified the document and despite the FBI's expressing "grave concerns" about its release.

He said it's wrong that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used opposition research - paid for by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign - to secure surveillance on at least one Trump associate.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes says that the panel plans on releasing more memos in the future.

The Intelligence Committee voted along party lines last week to release the memo despite warnings from national security officials.

The memo fight takes place as attorneys for Trump and Mueller negotiate possible testimony from the president.

But the dossier was not the sole factor that prompted the FBI to launch its investigation or submit a FISA application targeting Page.

In Trump's view, the memo buttressed his repeated calls for an end to the Russian Federation investigation.

"This completes just the FISA abuse portion of our investigation", Nunes told Fox News" Bret Baier, using an acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

"Quite the opposite, Mr President", Schiff said in a tweet.

Nunes has reportedly been telling fellow Republicans there could be as many as five more memos showing "wrongdoing" in different government departments, including the Justice and State Departments.

"Firing Rod Rosenstein, DOJ leadership, or Bob Mueller could result in a constitutional crisis of the kind not seen since the Saturday Night Massacre", the Democrats said in a letter to Trump.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by President Trump in May, tweeted that the memo was "dishonest and misleading" and would negatively impact intelligence agencies' ties to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) court system.

However, later in the day, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah denied any move to oust Rosenstein. Their comments echoed those of Speaker Paul Ryan who supported the memo's release on the argument that it lays out a "specific, legitimate" concern related to secret surveillance orders, but has insisted the findings do not impugn Mueller or Rosenstein.

Democrats said such was clearly aimed at derailing investigations into the controversial President. "But I've been a pretty lousy politician", he said.