President Trump is speaking out about the Nunes Memo, a highly controversial document he believes may effectively discredit the entire Russian interference investigation. The Nunes Memo allegedly reveals surveillance abuses by the FBI that took place before, during, and shortly after the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. Trump believes the document is proof that the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt” and evidence of clear-cut bias against him personally and professionally.
• The document remains classified for now, but both the Trump Administration and the White House have confirmed its pending declassification and release. At a recent press conference, Trump suggested that there was a “100 percent chance” it would be released. This has some leaders concerned about whether releasing the document sets a bad precedent for abuse of information in the future.
• Republican Senator Matt Gaetz, who also reviewed the documents, called the facts within the memo “jaw-dropping.” He also stated that there was …“no higher priority than the release of this information.” Other leaders, including John Kelly, have expressed similar statements. In an interview with CNN this week, he suggested that the memo would be released “pretty quick.”
• FBI Director Chris Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attempted to convince Kelly to keep the document classified earlier in the week. This places Wray at odds with the very President who hand-picked him for his position, and may sour relations between the two.
• The President expressed anger and extreme unhappiness with Rosenstein, who is directly responsible for overseeing the Russia investigation. Some believe this may be an indicator that Trump plans to replace him as he has replaced other hand-picked leaders.
• As for other Republicans and Democrat leaders, most are split on whether to release the document. Republican leaders believe it must be released in the spirit of honesty because it proves abuse of power by law enforcement. Democrats, on the other hand, believe the document was created specifically to paint an unfair or biased view of the FBI. This includes accusations that both Republicans and the White House conspired to undermine the Mueller probe.
• The FBI itself released a public statement rebuking the document and the decision to release it to the public. The document stated that the Bureau …“has grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” This includes “material omissions” that may make the content appear to reflect untruthfulness or “spun” events. As they have not yet been provided with a copy for review, they cannot verify its validity.
• White House deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, is denying the connection between the document’s release and undermining the Mueller probe. Instead, he claims releasing the memo is a “matter of transparency.” “This is a legislative process, they have initiated it. We are only following through on our role throughout the House rules.”