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Sunday
Feb112018

Trump is still 'inclined' to release Democratic memo on Russia probe: Conway

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said President Donald Trump is still “inclined” to release a memo by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee rebutting a Republican document that accused FBI and Department of Justice of bias and improperly seeking surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser.

“The president is inclined to declassify the memo," Conway told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday. But attorneys and experts who reviewed the memo think it reveals "sources and methods" that could harm national security. "So now it is going back to the Congress” for possible revisions to allow its release, she said.

The White House announced Friday that Trump would not at this time declassify the Democratic memo as he had the Republican document that accused the FBI and Justice Department of improperly seeking surveillance of former adviser Carter Page.

The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, criticized Trump's decisionon Twitter: "After ignoring urging of FBI & DOJ not to release misleading [Republican] memo because it omits material facts, @POTUS now expresses concerns over sharing precisely those facts with public and seeks to send it back to the same Majority that produced the flawed ... memo to begin with."

Democrats "take seriously the concerns of the DOJ and FBI, which is why we both urged the Majority against this course in the first place and why we provided our document" to the intelligence agencies for vetting, Schiff said.

Conway said on This Week Sunday that the Democratic memo went through the same review by attorneys and a national security team as the Republican document.

White House Counsel Don McGahn said in a letter to the Intelligence Committee on Friday that the Democrat memo contained “classified and especially sensitive passages” that raised concerns from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

McGahn invited the committee to revise the document to address national security concerns.

“The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts,” he said. “The Executive Branch stands ready to review any subsequent draft ... for declassification at the earliest opportunity.”

Trump on Twitter on Saturday accused Democrats of deliberately producing a memo that could not be released publicly.

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