Trump's Thoughts on GOP Memo Caught on Camera

President overheard supporting release of Devin Nunes-led memo on FBI after State of the Union
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2018 7:30 AM CST
Cameras Capture Trump Say He'll '100%' Release GOP Memo
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a close ally of President Trump who has become a fierce critic of the FBI and the Justice Department, walk into a GOP conference at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Trump was overheard Tuesday night telling a GOP lawmaker he's totally in favor of releasing a classified memo on the Russia investigation. "Oh yeah, don't worry," the president told South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan on the House floor after his first State of the Union address, per the AP. "100%." Duncan had implored Trump to "release the memo." TV cameras captured the exchange as Trump was leaving the chamber. The White House had said before the speech it was still conducting a legal and national security review of the document; press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters earlier Tuesday that Trump still hadn't been briefed on its contents. The memo arrived at the White House Monday evening after House Intelligence Committee GOPers brushed aside opposition from the DOJ and voted to release it. Committee rules say the president has five days to object to its release.

The four-page memo was written by Republicans on the committee, led by chairman Rep. Devin Nunes of California, a close Trump ally who's become a fierce critic of the FBI and the DOJ. Republicans have said the memo reveals improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russia investigation, while Democrats have called it a selectively edited group of GOP talking points that attempt to distract from the committee's own investigation into Russian meddling. On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he supports the memo's release but doesn't want Republicans to use it to attack special counsel Robert Mueller. If Trump decides to release the memo, it could be made public as early as Wednesday afternoon, said a senior White House official.

(More Russia investigation stories.)

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