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White House says Trump will rely on FBI, intel advice on releasing Democratic memo

White House officials and others close to Pr...

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 6:35 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2018 6:35 PM

White House officials and others close to President Donald Trump insist he will rely on the input of law enforcement and intelligence agencies as he decides whether to declassify a memo from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The Democratic memo is expected to directly undercut allegations of FBI and Justice Department abuses leveled in a controversial Republican memo Trump cleared for release last week.

White House officials and a source close to the process insist the document will face the same level of scrutiny and undergo the same interagency review as the Republican memo did last week.

The comparison, though, is raising eyebrows as last week's memo publication came over FBI objections, which warned it had "grave concerns" about the incomplete picture the GOP memo painted. And as Democrats warn Trump's opposition to the arguments laid out in their memo may lead Trump to block its release, Trump's allies are eager to point to the government process as a buffer to Trump's views.

"This will be handled by the book," a source close to the process said of the review. "He'll accept the recommendations of the FBI and the intel community."

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Monday declined to characterize Trump's "feeling" toward the Democratic memo, but leaned on the interagency process, which involves a review by the FBI and intelligence agencies: "We will be considering it just as we did the Nunes memo."

While Trump allowed the interagency process to play out last week before greenlighting the GOP memo's release, there had been no question that Trump was eager for the memo to enter the public eye.

"Don't worry, 100%," Trump told a Republican lawmaker who asked him after the State of the Union whether he would release the Republican memo.

And after it was released, Trump claimed the memo "totally vindicates" him in the Russia investigation, even though the document did not address the allegations of collusion or obstruction of justice that have become central to the special counsel's probe.

The assumption at the White House is that Trump won't stand in the way of the Democratic memo's release, but White House officials are also warning against predicting how a characteristically mercurial President will decide the Democratic memo's fate once he has read it.

Trump is expected to be briefed on the memo Tuesday or Wednesday, after the White House counsel's office and National Security Council staff have thoroughly reviewed the document, a White House official said.

The memo's arrival at the White House late Monday set in motion a five-day clock for the White House and key law enforcement and intelligence agencies to review the memo to determine whether it is appropriate to declassify the document. But the timing on a decision has yet to be determined, the White House official said, and could be adjusted depending on the news cycle.

While the review is unlikely to take a full five days, the White House may run out the clock before deciding the memo's fate. The White House cleared the Republican memo for declassification within four days of receiving it.

Beyond how Trump's view of the memo will impact its release, whether the FBI or other agencies will seek redactions to the document still remains unknown.

One source close to the process noted that the Democratic memo, which is longer than its Republican counterpoint, may contain more information that law enforcement and intelligence agencies may seek to redact.

Regardless of the agencies' recommendations, the White House's handling of the Democratic memo will be closely scrutinized, and if he opposes its release, the impact of his political views on the process will undoubtedly be called into question.

Trump's early predisposition to releasing the memo quickly led to questions of coordination between the White House and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, the House Intelligence Committee chairman -- who had refused to answer questions on coordination during a committee meeting.

Pressed again Tuesday on the whether the White House, which has also denied any coordination, had any role in the crafting of the GOP memo, Nunes declined to answer directly.

"Democracy dies in darkness, my friend," Nunes told CNN's Manu Raju. "Get to work."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98190

Reported Deaths: 2969
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7189161
DeSoto569464
Harrison394175
Jackson358570
Rankin337280
Madison334190
Lee293572
Forrest254275
Jones252780
Washington227879
Lafayette221240
Lauderdale2078126
Bolivar187370
Oktibbeha181952
Lamar176237
Lowndes160858
Neshoba1599104
Panola151631
Sunflower149146
Leflore143882
Warren141850
Pontotoc130116
Monroe125369
Pike124954
Copiah119933
Scott118027
Coahoma117530
Lincoln112353
Marshall111821
Grenada110136
Holmes110060
Yazoo106733
Simpson105847
Tate101938
Union101224
Leake96538
Adams94937
Wayne91521
Pearl River91453
Prentiss88418
Marion87537
Itawamba85921
Alcorn83411
Covington83223
George78513
Tallahatchie78324
Newton78124
Winston74619
Tishomingo71039
Tippah70518
Chickasaw69524
Attala67225
Clarke61149
Walthall60426
Clay59919
Hancock59822
Jasper58415
Noxubee55816
Smith55115
Calhoun52912
Tunica50015
Montgomery47020
Claiborne46516
Yalobusha44414
Lawrence43914
Perry43221
Quitman3905
Greene38917
Stone38013
Humphreys37715
Jefferson Davis34711
Amite34210
Webster33913
Carroll33112
Wilkinson30818
Kemper29115
Sharkey26714
Jefferson2439
Benton2333
Franklin1993
Choctaw1876
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 138162

Reported Deaths: 2405
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson20221352
Mobile13558295
Tuscaloosa9029118
Montgomery8894187
Madison800580
Shelby616450
Lee601761
Baldwin564052
Marshall398345
Etowah357545
Calhoun356944
Morgan334929
Houston295421
Elmore273948
DeKalb246121
St. Clair237937
Walker236987
Talladega219030
Limestone215720
Cullman192220
Dallas179926
Franklin179430
Autauga179127
Russell17903
Lauderdale175934
Colbert168426
Blount162915
Escambia162024
Jackson161112
Chilton160930
Dale141844
Covington141628
Coffee13936
Pike122011
Chambers117942
Tallapoosa117385
Clarke110916
Marion97629
Butler91740
Barbour8967
Winston75112
Marengo72820
Pickens67215
Randolph67213
Bibb66411
Lowndes65927
Hale65328
Geneva6505
Lawrence63625
Cherokee62013
Bullock61015
Clay5929
Monroe5928
Washington56012
Crenshaw54532
Perry5436
Conecuh53811
Wilcox53211
Henry5145
Macon48318
Fayette47311
Sumter43419
Cleburne4085
Lamar3822
Choctaw35212
Greene30615
Coosa1743
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