Donald Trump meets with FBI, Justice officials on Democratic intelligence memo

February 10, 2018 GMT

President Trump met Friday with FBI Director Christopher Wray and others to discuss releasing a 10-page Democratic memo that is a rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.

Mr. Trump huddled with Mr. Wray, principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Robert Hur and staff from the White House Counsel’s Office “to receive their input” on the memo, said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah.

“The president is weighing his options and will respond soon,” Mr. Shah said.

The president faced a Friday deadline to decide on releasing the memo, and he told reporters earlier in the day, “It’s going to be released soon.”

The Democratic memo, written by Rep. Adam Schiff of California, is expected to rebut the Republican memo, which accuses the FBI of abusing the procedure for obtaining a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Meanwhile on Friday, committee infighting escalated further as Mr. Schiff accused the author of the Republican memo, committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes, of refusing to deny whether his staff coordinated with White House to create the document.

The dispute surfaced after a transcript of the committee’s Monday meeting was released.

Mr. Schiff in a statement Friday said that Mr. Nunes made a “carefully worded statement” during the Monday meeting but failed to satisfy the Democrat’s suspicions that “the White House may have had a role in the planning of the memo.”

The Monday transcript also featured Mr. Nunes warning Democrats to tone down their “political theater” and spend less time voicing their anger “for the news cameras.”

Earlier in the week, key Republican panel member, Rep. Trey Gowdy, said the Democrats may have purposely included classified information into their memo as a political tactic to claim the White House was somehow impeding the investigation.

“I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the [FBI] or the Department of Justice to say it needs to be redacted,” Mr. Gowdy told Fox News. “Therefore, it creates this belief that there’s something being hidden from the American people.”