President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted a brief explanation for why he rejected the request to declassify a Democratic memo from the House Intelligence Committee.
In a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the White House said it could not release the Democrats' memo because the Justice Department "has identified portions.which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests".
The Republican memo portrays the Russian Federation investigation as a product of political bias at the FBI and Justice Department against Trump.
Citing national security concerns, the White House notified the House Intelligence Committee on Friday that the president was "unable" to declassify the Democratic memo.
Democrats called the Nunes memo biased and misleading and said it comprised cherry-picked information from the documentation of one part of the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 US presidential election. Some Republicans have claimed the Democratic memo involved more substantial information about law enforcement sources and methods.
Nunes said in a statement that "Intelligence Committee Republicans encourage the minority to accept the DOJ's recommendations and make the appropriate technical changes and redactions so that no sources and methods are disclosed and their memo can be declassified as soon as possible".
The Democratic memo is expected to elaborate on these points.
As noted by Cortney, this move irked many Democrats who criticized the White House's lack of transparency.
Democrats say their memo contains corrections to errors and omissions in the Republican document.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY, the top Senate Democrat, said bluntly, "Millions of Americans are asking one simple question: What is he hiding?"
The FBI suspected that Page, a former investment banker based in Moscow who had previously been under investigation, was acting as a Russian agent.
He said Trump was still "inclined" to release the memo in the interest of transparency if revisions are made.
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, has said he will be scrutinizing the process closely.
"The President's decision to block the Democratic memo from release is part of a unsafe and desperate pattern of cover-up on the part of the President, " she said. Schiff and other Democrats say the Republicans are trying to undermine the Mueller inquiry.
White House counsel Don McGahn says in a letter to the committee that the memo contains "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages" and asked the intelligence panel to revise the memo with the help of the Justice Department.
The Nunes memo alleged that senior DOJ officials inappropriately relied on the research, paid for in part by Hillary Clinton, to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. "Ranking Member Schiff pledged to seek the input of the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the memo's public release, and it's no surprise that these agencies recommended against publishing the memo without redactions".
In response, Schiff told Bloomberg News, "That's their spin", referring to Republicans.
"So, I'm not surprised they would like to see some omitted from our response", he added.
Winter Olympics kicks off with historic handshake
The North has sent 22 athletes and hundreds of cheerleaders, performers and taekwondo demonstrators to PyeongChang . He criticized the Trump administration for straining too hard to signal disgust of Kim Jong Un's government.
Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away
She remained in jail during the dictatorial rule of General Zia-ul Haq in 1983 for raising voice for the democrats. She was also active in the 2007 lawyers' movement for which she was put under house arrest, reports Dawn news.
Lucas Moura in line for Tottenham debut in north London derby
Arsenal's players shouted for a push on Koscielny; so did their manager Arsene Wenger , but the appeals smacked of desperation. I think we had the capacity to push them and create many, many chances, but it was an incredible game and I'm very pleased.
During Doklam stand-off, Cong met China envoy: PM Modi
Hitting out at Gandhi, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he did not question the Congress president's right to a reply. Modi, sources said, praised Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's reply in the Lok Sabha during a discussion on it.
Top ANC Officials Cancel Events as Zuma Exit Talks Intensify
An ANC official in the Western Cape province said the schedule changes related to the party's push to force Zuma to stand down. Zuma has expressed his desire to continue ruling the country until the end of his state presidential term in 2019.
BJP refutes criticism on Andhra Pradesh
The clear deficit in the two claims is of about Rs 3,000 crore which has led to acrimony between the two allies. All the parties joined hands and made public protests against BJP and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi .