Dem senator: ‘White House has been contemptible about’ national security

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Tuesday said the White House "has been contemptible" about national security as Democrats look to refute a memo crafted by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesOvernight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate House panel advances bill that would temporarily halt ObamaCare's employer mandate Nunes leaves in middle of hearing following questions on Russia probe MORE's (R-Calif.) staff that alleges surveillance abuses at the Justice Department.

"This White House has been contemptible about security," Blumenthal told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day."

ADVERTISEMENT

"I'm going to be calling later today for the 30-40 names of the interim security clearances because I believe they are a threat to national security. They owe us those names," he continued.

"Security matters and that's why the refutation of the Nunes [memo] also matters," he said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE on Friday blocked the release of a Democratic countermemo from the House Intelligence Committee just one week after the White House authorized the release of the Nunes memo.

White House counsel Don McGahn said the administration believed releasing the Democratic memo would create “especially significant concerns” for “national security and law enforcement interests.”

The House Intelligence Committee's ranking member, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffRussians' indictment casts shadow ahead of Trump-Putin summit Schiff expects Trump to take 'disastrous approach' on meddling in meeting with Putin Sunday shows preview: Trump readies for meeting with Putin MORE (D-Calif.), said on Sunday that Trump does not want the public to see the “underlying facts” in the Democratic countermemo because they would undercut his “claim of vindication” in the Russia probe.

“The president doesn’t want you to see these facts from the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] FISA application because it completely undermines his claim of vindication,” Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation."

Blumenthal said on CNN that Democrats on the committee are "being very responsible to work with the FBI and the Department of Justice to eliminate any parts of [the countermemo] that may compromise security."