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Trump declines to approve release of Dem countermemo

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border 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 NunesThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — Latest on Hurricane Michael | Trump, Kanye West to have lunch at White House | GOP divided over potential 2020 high court vacancy Senate Dem: Trump's 'fake, hyperbolic rantings' an insult to real Medal of Honor recipients Trump: Nunes should receive Medal of Honor 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 RosensteinThree reasons Mueller may not charge Trump with obstruction Rod Rosenstein must recuse himself Trump: Nunes should receive Medal of Honor 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 SchiffDems eye ambitious agenda if House flips Schiff: There is legal precedent for impeaching sitting officials over prior criminal conduct Hillicon Valley: 50M affected by Facebook hack | Google CEO to testify on Capitol Hill | Tesla shares slump after SEC sues | House Intel votes to release Russia probe transcripts | Dem holds up passage of key intel bill 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 ClintonHillary Clinton on if Bill should’ve resigned over Lewinsky scandal: ‘Absolutely not’ Electoral battle for Hispanics intensifies in Florida Trump adds campaign stops for Senate candidates in Montana, Arizona, Nevada 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 SchumerFive takeaways from the final Tennessee Senate debate Schumer rips Trump 'Medicare for all' op-ed as 'smears and sabotage' GOP senator suspects Schumer of being behind release of Ford letter 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.