Trump declines to approve release of Dem countermemo

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE is not ready to approve the release of a Democratic memo meant to rebut a document he declassified last week that was authored by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, the White House announced.
 
White House counsel Don McGahn wrote a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesPolice close Nunes district office as protesters rally outside Top aide in Kenneth Starr investigation will vote for Dems for first time Vulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders MORE (R-Calif.) explaining that “although the president is inclined to declassify” the Democratic memo, the administration believes it would create “especially significant concerns” for “national security and law enforcement interests.”
 
Trump’s legal team insists that it came to that conclusion at the behest of senior officials at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a separate letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down US judge rejects Russian company’s bid to dismiss Mueller charges Falwell Jr.: Sessions and Rosenstein ‘deceived’ Trump into appointing them and should ‘rot’ in jail MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray, McGahn highlighted the information the White House says it believes is problematic and should not be released.
 
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The White House said it would work with the House Intelligence Committee if it wants to revise the Democratic memo and resubmit it for declassification.

“The president encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts,” the letter states. “The Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the Feb. 5th memorandum for declassification at the earliest opportunity.”

The House panel voted earlier this week to make public the 10-page Democratic memo, authored by Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRepublicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters Schiff blasts GOP for Russia probe conduct: 'That's how you obstruct an investigation, not how you conduct one' Treason! The new party game that everyone is playing MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, after Trump declassified a four-page Republican memo last week alleging that officials at the FBI and DOJ had abused their powers to spy on a Trump campaign official.

The White House declassified the Republican memo over the objections of the FBI and the DOJ.

The GOP memo said that law enforcement officials shielded from surveillance courts their reliance on the so-called Steele dossier, which was funded in part by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary Ironworker and star of viral video wins Dem primary for Speaker Ryan's seat MORE’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, when they sought a warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Democrats said that memo was cherry-picked and did not tell the full story of how the FBI and DOJ obtained the warrant.
 
Democrats argue that there was ample evidence to spy on Page and that the applications given to the spy court included much more information than just what was in the disputed dossier.
 
The Democrats were expected to provide evidence backing up their claims in the memo the Intelligence Committee voted to make public but that the White House is refusing to declassify.

Democrats reacted with fury over the White House’s decision to block the release of their memo.

“The President’s double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSenate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh Montana GOP Senate hopeful touts Trump's support in new ad Strong job growth drives home choice for voters this election MORE (D-N.Y.) said. “The rationale for releasing the Nunes memo, transparency, vanishes when it could show information that’s harmful to him. Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: what is he hiding?”
 

Updated: 8:52 p.m.