Trump telling people Nunes memo will discredit Mueller probe: report
President Trump has privately told associates that he believes a contentious memo compiled by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee could be used to discredit the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, according to CNN.
In phone calls with friends in recent days, Trump has said that he believes the memo will reveal biases and abuses by the FBI and Justice Department that could back up his claims that the probe is a partisan exercise, CNN reported on Thursday.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted on Monday to release a controversial memo alleging that the FBI and Justice Department misused their authority to obtain a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign adviser during the 2016 presidential race.
Some Republicans have argued that releasing the memo is necessary, because it sheds light on the origins of the Russia investigation, as well as possible abuses by federal law enforcement officials. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, has been a vocal proponent of making the memo public.
But the move has been vehemently opposed by Democrats and law enforcement officials, who have raised questions about the memo’s accuracy and its omission of key information that they say is needed to put the issue into proper context.
Trump still has two days left to review the GOP memo to determine whether to allow its release, though he is widely expected to give it the OK. A decision is expected as soon as Thursday.
The FBI released a rare statement on Wednesday, saying that it has “grave concerns” about the memo’s accuracy. The statement highlights a division between the Justice Department and the White House.
CNN reported that Trump was upset with that statement and that he has also directed some of his ire at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the law enforcement investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
According to CNN, Trump has recently floated the notion of ousting Rosenstein, who began overseeing the Russia investigation last year after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case.
The memo’s release, CNN reported, could be used by Trump as an impetus for firing the deputy attorney general.