Breaking: Trump refuses to release Democrat memo on FISA – here’s why

Breaking: Trump refuses to release Democrat memo on FISA – here’s why
The Trump administration announced in a statement that the president chose not to declassify the Democrat authored memo meant to offer a rebuttal to the FISA memo. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Trump administration said Friday that they would not be declassifying the Democrat memo rebuttal to the FISA memo for release to the public.

Here’s what Trump is saying about the memo

White House Counsel to the President Don McGahn sent a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) explaining the reasons why the president chose to keep the memo classified.

“Consistent with the review of the previous memorandum,” the statement read, “the President asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to assess the declassification request and provide him recommendations. The Department has identified portions of the February 5th Memorandum the disclosure of which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests.”

“Although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum,” it continued, “because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time.”

“However, given the public interest in transparency in these unprecedented circumstances,” he added, “the President has directed that Justice Department personnel be available to give technical assistance to the Committee, should the Committee wish to revise the February 5th Memorandum to mitigate the risks identified by the Department.”

“The President encourages the Committee to undertake these efforts,” the statement concluded.

What is in this memo?

The ten-page memo was authored by the Democrats in the minority of the House Intelligence Committee as a rebuttal to the FISA memo authored by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) that was earlier declassified. The committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the memo, but it was subject to the president’s approval.

Democrats say that the information in the FISA memo is incomplete and misleading, and said that their memo would offer additional information as context to supplant the Republican narrative accusing the FBI and the Department of Justice of bias.

Here’s the CNN news report about the White House statement: