Trump's fight with his law enforcement agencies intensifies

The release of House Republicans' memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority has intensified an extraordi...

Posted: Feb 4, 2018 6:44 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2018 6:44 PM

The release of House Republicans' memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority has intensified an extraordinary feud between President Donald Trump and parts of his own government.

Trump -- who campaigned on a theme of "law and order" -- and members of his Republican Party, in power in Washington, are using the memo to sow distrust in America's chief law enforcement agency and its investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump on Saturday falsely claimed that the memo "totally vindicates" him in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe into whether his campaign colluded with Russia.

"This is an American disgrace!" he tweeted.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, the California Republican whose committee drafted the memo, promised Friday on Fox News that more memos critical of US government agencies are coming.

"We are in the middle of what I call 'phase two' of our investigation, which involves other departments," Nunes said. "Specifically the State Department and some of the involvement they had in this."

Other leading figures, including Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, an Arizona Republican, are issuing dire warnings of the potential damage that undermining US institutions could cause.

"Our nation's elected officials, including the President, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows," McCain said in a statement. "If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin's job for him."

Rep. Trey Gowdy, a retiring South Carolina Republican member of the intelligence panel, tweeted that he remains "100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not - in any way - discredit his investigation."

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump, mocked the memo's contents, tweeting: "That's it?"

"Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what?" he wrote. "DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs."

The three-and-a-half page memo faults the FBI for relying on a dossier on Trump and Russia -- the production of which was funded indirectly by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee -- to obtain and renew a surveillance warrant to monitor former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The memo argues that the application for that surveillance warrant was overly reliant on the dossier. But it undermines its own argument in its final paragraph: The memo notes that the application also included information regarding Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, suggesting there was intelligence beyond the dossier in the Page application.

Democrats and the FBI have called the memo inaccurate and incomplete.

After the memo's release, FBI Director Christopher Wray addressed employees in an internal video. He said he knows it's a tough and unsettling time -- and the last few days have made it worse -- but that "actions speak louder than words," sources who have viewed the video said.

"Current public sentiment may see us in an unfavorable light," Wray said. "But the work you do is important and I believe in our mission and support what we do everyday."

Beyond the memo's contents, the bigger question is political: Will Trump take any direct action to attempt to end the Russia investigation as a result of the memo?

On Twitter -- where the notion of a "deep state" beyond Trump's control is popular among Trump's supporters -- the President's allies had promised shocking revelations that the FBI abused its powers, using the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo, in the lead-up to its release.

Trump on Friday wouldn't say whether he plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top Justice Department official overseeing the Russia investigation, or if he retained confidence in Rosenstein.

"You figure that one out," he told reporters.

Democrats fear Trump will use the memo as a pretext to fire Rosenstein over his approval of an extended surveillance warrant for Page. Rosenstein oversees the Russia investigation.

"The President hasn't needed much by way of justification to go after people and I hope he won't use this as a mode of pretext, but you never know with Donald Trump," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday -- before Trump's comments -- said Rosenstein represents "the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the department."

And a White House spokesman said Friday night that Rosenstein's job is safe.

"I'm saying it on behalf of the White House, and that's that no changes are going to be made at the Department of Justice," White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said Friday night on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
Lauderdale6121192
Lowndes5544120
Lafayette520598
Lamar505865
Washington4933125
Bolivar4126109
Oktibbeha408382
Panola386981
Pontotoc377460
Monroe3686110
Warren3685103
Marshall357170
Union356864
Pearl River3495106
Neshoba3490154
Leflore3118109
Lincoln306788
Hancock294262
Sunflower291975
Tate280662
Alcorn273154
Pike270181
Itawamba269363
Scott260048
Yazoo256756
Prentiss253754
Coahoma249755
Copiah249749
Tippah249750
Simpson242872
Leake238167
Marion224273
Grenada223972
Covington221073
Adams215171
Wayne213734
Winston207671
George204739
Newton199946
Attala197064
Tishomingo194961
Chickasaw189344
Jasper181138
Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
Amite102126
Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
Cullman8274124
Elmore8214110
DeKalb7894107
Lauderdale7871107
St. Clair7854130
Talladega6481112
Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
Autauga537662
Coffee462464
Dale410785
Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
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