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White House postures over Nunes memo

President Donald Trump's chief of staff ...

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 11:41 AM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 11:41 AM

President Donald Trump's chief of staff said on Wednesday the White House would soon allow for the release of a highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools.

John Kelly, speaking on a Fox News radio program, said Trump and his team were reviewing the document produced by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, and would open it to the public shortly.

"The memo came over, we've got our folks, our national security lawyers in the White House that work for me and the President, slicing and dicing it, looking at it so we know what it means and what it understands," he told host Brian Kilmeade.

"It'll be released here pretty quick, I think. And the whole world can see it," Kelly said, adding that he'd viewed the memo himself.

The announcement came as questions mounted about the White House's own role in creating the document. Trump's spokeswoman said Wednesday morning she didn't know whether any West Wing aides were involved in the memo's production.

"We have certainly coordinated with members of Congress as is appropriate. As to specifics on this, I just don't know the answer," press secretary Sarah Sanders said on CNN's "New Day."

"I'm not aware of any conversations or coordination with Congressman Nunes," Sanders said.

The memo has caused a firestorm in Washington and is the latest chapter in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Republicans claim the memo needs to be released because it shows abuse of power by law enforcement officials, while Democrats maintain it is nothing more than an attempt to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

"We are still going to complete the legal and national security review that has to take place before putting something out publicly," Sanders said Wednesday. "That is the place where we are right now."

She added that the interagency review will be "taking place at the White House today."

White House aides have long stood behind the interagency review as a way to deflect questions about the controversial memo. But Trump undercut that talking point on Tuesday by telling Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-South Carolina, who urged him to release the memo, not to worry.

"Don't worry, 100%," Trump was overheard responding as he departed the House chamber following his State of the Union address. "Can you imagine?"

His remarks were caught on a live camera feed from the House floor.

Sanders said on CNN Wednesday that there is "always a chance" Trump could decide not to release the memo but added that she was unaware whether Trump had actually read the document.

However, hours before Trump's comments to Duncan, Sanders issued a statement saying there are "no current plans" to release the memo.

The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines on Monday to release the classified document, which was then quickly sent to the White House for review. The memo claims the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act over its use of the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia as part of the case to obtain a FISA warrant on former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The process could last up to five days, according to White House officials, but it is possible that they could approve publishing the document sooner.

To date, though, White House, National Security Council and intelligence agency officials have declined to comment on what goes into such a review process. An official told CNN that the document is currently being reviewed and the findings could be presented to Trump as early as Wednesday.

Trump, who has been under a constant pressure campaign from Republican lawmakers and conservative media to release the memo, is eager to get it into the public eye, two people familiar with the matter tell CNN. But he decided against releasing it before delivering his State of the Union address, given that it would likely have stepped on the message he was hoping to send.

A decision by Trump to release the memo would pit him against his own Justice Department, which has warned that doing so would be "extraordinarily reckless."

FBI Director Chris Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made that case to Kelly during a meeting on Monday, but it appears that Trump, given his comments on Tuesday, is undeterred by the warning.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto952799
Hinds9520193
Harrison6801105
Jackson6043116
Rankin521996
Lee477094
Madison4595102
Forrest360685
Jones341687
Lauderdale3340142
Lafayette312047
Washington3043106
Lamar273849
Bolivar237583
Oktibbeha237460
Lowndes227562
Neshoba2170113
Panola210347
Marshall206547
Leflore200389
Pontotoc192527
Monroe188877
Sunflower188754
Lincoln183664
Warren171757
Tate163049
Pike159958
Union159025
Copiah158840
Yazoo149538
Scott149429
Coahoma146742
Itawamba144433
Simpson143153
Alcorn142724
Pearl River142067
Prentiss138426
Grenada135844
Adams134148
Leake131643
Holmes124261
George121523
Tippah120430
Covington116434
Winston115824
Wayne115522
Hancock113337
Marion109046
Attala106133
Tishomingo105542
Newton102829
Chickasaw102132
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88153
Clay86226
Jasper80421
Walthall73728
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Stone71014
Carroll70114
Lawrence69814
Noxubee68917
Smith68616
Yalobusha67626
Perry63925
Tunica59519
Greene58222
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis53817
Humphreys52318
Amite50714
Benton48217
Quitman4766
Webster41614
Kemper40615
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson33511
Franklin3155
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1094
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 232506

Reported Deaths: 3457
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30318491
Mobile19260356
Tuscaloosa12446148
Madison12204146
Montgomery12000232
Shelby971276
Baldwin819984
Lee750464
Morgan610447
Calhoun5964113
Etowah585764
Marshall579453
Houston503338
DeKalb460835
Cullman409636
Limestone400844
St. Clair396055
Elmore391061
Lauderdale378353
Walker348096
Talladega334042
Colbert294341
Jackson290524
Blount275436
Autauga261739
Franklin243633
Coffee230315
Dale225454
Dallas219631
Russell21753
Chilton216137
Covington212333
Escambia194031
Tallapoosa168590
Chambers167548
Clarke154919
Pike154714
Marion133935
Winston122523
Lawrence121436
Geneva11678
Marengo116424
Barbour116010
Pickens114118
Bibb113617
Butler113341
Randolph99521
Cherokee98524
Hale91531
Washington89818
Clay88823
Henry8386
Fayette83116
Lowndes78529
Monroe76811
Cleburne74214
Crenshaw70030
Macon69420
Bullock68919
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Wilcox62318
Lamar6227
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene39917
Coosa3064
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