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Donald Trump blocks release of Democrats' memo, citing national security concerns

Donald Trump blocks release of Democrats' memo, citing national security concerns

The White House notified the House Intelligence Committee on Friday that the president was "unable" to declassify the Democratic memo because of national security concerns.

The letter also said the "Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft of the February 5th Memorandum for declassification at the earliest opportunity".

The decision stands in contrast to one Trump made last week on a Republican memo alleging the Federal Bureau of Investigation misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

In response, a memo was prepared by Democrats that reportedly contests and further details the claims made by Republicans. They said they wrote their memo to correct the record and include what was omitted from the Republican document.

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Former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski excoriated Democrats during a "Fox and Friends" segment Saturday while weighing in on President Donald Trump's decision to block their rebuttal to Rep. Devin Nunes' (R-CA) controversial memo.

He finished the tweet by saying that he told them to rewrite it and send it back to him.

Schiff, who has traded bitter Twitter messages with the president after Trump called him one of "the biggest liars and leakers" in Washington, warned this week that Trump might call for "political edits" meant to erase embarrassing parts of the memo, not information related to national security.

The controversial Republican memo, which was written by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, portrayed the Russian Federation investigation as a product of political bias at the FBI and Justice Department against Trump. The memo "was described by the agencies as extraordinarily reckless and omitting material facts", the Democrat said.

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"I'm not surprised", said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) in a statement. Trump alleges that the Democrats "would have blamed the White House for lack of transparency" had he made a decision to release a redacted memo.

"The president's double standard when it comes to transparency is appalling", he said in a statement.

Democrats released their own memo after the Republican memo was written, but because classified information was included, public release is not possible at this time.

The White House legislative director, Marc Short, countered that Democrats padded their memo with sensitive information, knowing Trump would stop its release, in an effort to make him look obstructionist.

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By then, the whirlwind news cycle will have rolled on and the Republican version of the Page episode will have been touted by pro-Trump media for days, solidifying conservative opinion. "This is an American disgrace!" the president tweeted February 3, one day after the Nunes memo was released. The move intensified extreme partisanship surrounding the Russian Federation investigation that is sparking suggestions that Trump is coordinating with Republicans to discredit Mueller's work. In fact, the Obama administration told the FISA court nothing at all about the fact that the Steele "dossier" was entirely the creation of the Democratic Party.