Trump tells Republican he’s ‘100 percent’ for releasing Nunes memo
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 31, 2018
President Trump reassured a GOP lawmaker after his State of the Union speech that he backs releasing a classified Republican memo that alleges the FBI improperly used a surveillance program.
“Oh yeah, don’t worry, 100 percent,” Trump told Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), who urged Trump as he was heading out of the House chamber to “release the memo.”
The controversial memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) alleges “shocking” surveillance abuses by the Justice Department, according to GOP lawmakers.
The memo is said to contain allegations of the FBI improperly surveilling Trump campaign communications.
CBS News reported on Tuesday that representatives from the FBI, Department of Justice, National Security Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are reviewing it. Under a House rule Republicans used to override the classification of the four-page memo, Trump has five days, from Monday, to review and reject or approve the memo’s publication.
The House vote came as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made a last-ditch plea for the White House not to release the memo, telling chief of staff John Kelly that it could put classified information at risk, according to The Washington Post.
But the White House has signaled support for the four-page document to be released and is widely expected to defy the Justice Department and make the memo public.
It’s believed that the memo contains allegations that the FBI did not adequately explain to a clandestine court that some of the information used in the application for the surveillance warrant of former Trump adviser Carter Page came from a controversial opposition research dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
According to The New York Times, the document also spotlights Rosenstein’s role in approving the warrant application. The No. 2 DOJ official has increasingly become a target on the right, though, to date, there has been no public evidence that department officials abused the process for getting a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
FISA warrant applications require multiple levels of authentication and require investigators to show probable cause that an individual is acting as an agent of a foreign power.