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White House postures over Nunes memo

President Donald Trump's chief of staff ...

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 12:41 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 12:41 PM

President Donald Trump's chief of staff said on Wednesday the White House would soon allow for the release of a highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools.

John Kelly, speaking on a Fox News radio program, said Trump and his team were reviewing the document produced by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, and would open it to the public shortly.

"The memo came over, we've got our folks, our national security lawyers in the White House that work for me and the President, slicing and dicing it, looking at it so we know what it means and what it understands," he told host Brian Kilmeade.

"It'll be released here pretty quick, I think. And the whole world can see it," Kelly said, adding that he'd viewed the memo himself.

The announcement came as questions mounted about the White House's own role in creating the document. Trump's spokeswoman said Wednesday morning she didn't know whether any West Wing aides were involved in the memo's production.

"We have certainly coordinated with members of Congress as is appropriate. As to specifics on this, I just don't know the answer," press secretary Sarah Sanders said on CNN's "New Day."

"I'm not aware of any conversations or coordination with Congressman Nunes," Sanders said.

The memo has caused a firestorm in Washington and is the latest chapter in the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Republicans claim the memo needs to be released because it shows abuse of power by law enforcement officials, while Democrats maintain it is nothing more than an attempt to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

"We are still going to complete the legal and national security review that has to take place before putting something out publicly," Sanders said Wednesday. "That is the place where we are right now."

She added that the interagency review will be "taking place at the White House today."

White House aides have long stood behind the interagency review as a way to deflect questions about the controversial memo. But Trump undercut that talking point on Tuesday by telling Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-South Carolina, who urged him to release the memo, not to worry.

"Don't worry, 100%," Trump was overheard responding as he departed the House chamber following his State of the Union address. "Can you imagine?"

His remarks were caught on a live camera feed from the House floor.

Sanders said on CNN Wednesday that there is "always a chance" Trump could decide not to release the memo but added that she was unaware whether Trump had actually read the document.

However, hours before Trump's comments to Duncan, Sanders issued a statement saying there are "no current plans" to release the memo.

The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines on Monday to release the classified document, which was then quickly sent to the White House for review. The memo claims the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act over its use of the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia as part of the case to obtain a FISA warrant on former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The process could last up to five days, according to White House officials, but it is possible that they could approve publishing the document sooner.

To date, though, White House, National Security Council and intelligence agency officials have declined to comment on what goes into such a review process. An official told CNN that the document is currently being reviewed and the findings could be presented to Trump as early as Wednesday.

Trump, who has been under a constant pressure campaign from Republican lawmakers and conservative media to release the memo, is eager to get it into the public eye, two people familiar with the matter tell CNN. But he decided against releasing it before delivering his State of the Union address, given that it would likely have stepped on the message he was hoping to send.

A decision by Trump to release the memo would pit him against his own Justice Department, which has warned that doing so would be "extraordinarily reckless."

FBI Director Chris Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made that case to Kelly during a meeting on Monday, but it appears that Trump, given his comments on Tuesday, is undeterred by the warning.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1390015

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1541781574
Cuyahoga1361632341
Hamilton989691326
Montgomery681371161
Summit569981051
Lucas51769869
Butler48139663
Stark42350983
Lorain32165539
Warren30497338
Mahoning27564643
Clermont26081297
Lake24873422
Delaware22600147
Licking20818246
Fairfield20789223
Greene20667275
Trumbull20378516
Medina20178290
Clark18235332
Richland16749236
Portage16442231
Wood15973209
Allen14405261
Miami14063261
Muskingum12976155
Wayne12234244
Columbiana12046242
Tuscarawas11248271
Marion10935150
Pickaway10642129
Scioto10585127
Erie9888171
Ross9648177
Lawrence8967125
Hancock8637143
Ashtabula8509187
Geauga8272156
Belmont8262188
Jefferson7736175
Huron7566131
Union743951
Washington7396126
Athens712065
Sandusky6984135
Darke6884137
Knox6839122
Seneca6533137
Ashland6078115
Auglaize596888
Shelby5845104
Brown578272
Mercer565890
Crawford5591117
Defiance5579101
Madison552171
Highland550982
Fulton543583
Clinton535781
Logan520587
Preble5123111
Putnam4909107
Guernsey487664
Williams469982
Perry464454
Champaign454964
Ottawa443584
Jackson436663
Pike400745
Morrow398251
Coshocton393669
Fayette385053
Adams371575
Hardin367570
Gallia356658
Holmes3326111
Henry331869
Van Wert321471
Hocking312370
Wyandot286058
Carroll267052
Paulding247443
Meigs223042
Monroe193149
Noble174442
Morgan170329
Harrison161741
Vinton141919
Unassigned05
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