President Trump’s lawyer informed the House Intelligence Committee on Friday of his decision to keep secret the Democratic memo rebutting claims — made in a controversial Republican report Trump declassified the week before — of surveillance abuses at the FBI and Department of Justice during its probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The letter, sent to House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., by White House counsel Don McGahn, cites national security concerns raised by the FBI and the director of National Intelligence as the reason for Trump’s refusal to make public the memo that was prepared by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking Democratic on the committee.
The FBI had opposed releasing the Republican memo, saying it had “grave concerns” about its accuracy, but the White House overrode those concerns.
Schiff had criticized both the president for releasing Nunes’ memo without his rebuttal and Nunes for authoring what Schiff called “a political hit job on the FBI in the service of the president.”
McGahn said that “given the public interest in transparency,” the White House “stands ready” to review any revisions to Schiff’s memo made by Democrats on the committee.
Read McGahn’s letter to Nunes in full: