Trump declines to approve release of Dem countermemo

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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 NunesOvernight Defense: Congressional leaders receive classified briefing on Iran | Trump on war: 'I hope not' | Key Republican calls threats credible | Warren plan targets corporate influence at Pentagon Schiff says DOJ hasn't complied with subpoena for Mueller report Key Republican 'convinced' Iran threats are credible 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 RosensteinKlobuchar: 'Don't think' there are reasons to investigate Mueller probe's origins Democrats are running out of stunts to pull from impeachment playbook Barr dismisses contempt vote as part of 'political circus' 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 SchiffSchiff: Impeachment proceedings could be 'tool' to get information, evidence Schiff: Escalating Iran tensions 'all too predictable' 5 things to watch as Trump, Dems clash over investigations 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 ClintonDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam Warren policy ideas show signs of paying off 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 SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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.