Release of disputed GOP memo on FBI surveillance unleashes waves of recrimination

The Washington Post: A GOP memo declassified on Friday charges senior law enforcement officials with manipulating a foreign intelligence court in order to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser — contested accusations that intensified an ongoing battle between the White House and Republican lawmakers on one side, and the FBI and the Justice Department on the other. Democrats warned President Trump not to try to use the memo’s contents as a justification for firing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein or other officials overseeing an ongoing probe into possible coordination between Trump associates and agents of the Russian government during the 2016 campaign. Asked after the memo’s release if he might fire Rosenstein, Trump told reporters: “You figure that one out.” Trump approved release of the memo without redactions Friday morning. “I think it’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country,” he told reporters in the Oval Office. “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that.” The congressional inquiry that led to the memo is “an issue of great importance for the country, and concerns have been raised about the department’s performance,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “I have great confidence in the men and women of this department. But no department is perfect. . . . I am determined that we will fully and fairly ascertain the truth.” The FBI has said it has “grave concerns” that the contents of the memo leave out important details and create an inaccurate, unfair portrait of its work. Former FBI director James B. Comey reacted by tweeting: “That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.”

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