To no one's surprise, Donald Trump is refusing to release the Democrats' rebuttal to the cherry-picked Nunes memo: Trump won't release Democratic memo, sends back to committee:
President Donald Trump won't release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority at this time, and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.
In a letter to the committee, White House counsel Donald McGahn said, "although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time."
Trump had said earlier Friday he planned to release the memo.
"It's gonna be released soon," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding, "We're going to release a letter."
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page Democratic memo, and the committee rules gave Trump five days to decide whether to block or allow its release.
The leading Democrat on the committee, Adam Schiff, made an appearance on Real Time this Friday and was asked by host Bill Maher about the breaking news.
SCHIFF: Last week, over the objections of the FBI, the Department of Justice, who said don't release this, this is extraordinarily reckless, it's misleading and omits material facts, he said, “I don't care. It's going out.”
MAHER: That was the Nunes memo.
SCHIFF: This week though, the White House apparently has a newfound admiration for the FBI. “We wouldn't want to release anything that the FBI might be concerned about.”
MAHER: The way they turn on a dime.
SCHIFF: So what they're doing is sending the memo back to the committee, same committee whose majority crafted the false memo to begin with, because they know the chairman has the president's back. That's the White House's strategy.
So we're going to sit down with the FBI and the Department of Justice. So we did the responsible thing. We sent them our memo well before we brought it up for a vote in the committee. We want to hear any concerns they have about sources and methods.
The problem is this, and this is why we urge Republicans not to go down this road. They wrote this deliberately misleading memo that omitted all the important information the reader needed to know and when we supplied the material facts, it's like, “Oh, no, we can't share the facts” because that would be disclosing too much information.
Paul Ryan could also allow the entire House to take a vote to release it, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
Schiff expressed similar concerns in a statement he released on Twitter: