President Trump is reportedly ready to defy recommendations from his own Justice Department, as well as the FBI director he appointed, in order to release a controversial Republican memo. But apparently not everyone in the White House is sold.
The hotly contested memo, authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), reportedly alleges the FBI inappropriately spied on President Trump's campaign in 2016. Trump reportedly believes that releasing the document publicly could help to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump's team and Russia, which Trump has deemed a "witch hunt." But some staff in the White House believe the document is "underwhelming," Axios reported Thursday.
"There's internal anxiety about whether it's worth angering the FBI director and intelligence community by releasing this information," Axios explained. The Justice Department and the FBI have claimed the memo draws on incomplete information. Axios reported that some White House officials who've been apprised of its contents don't think the document enough of a "slam dunk" to justify its release.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, which Nunes chairs, voted Monday to release the memo. The White House has the final say over what will be made public, and Trump is reportedly in favor of releasing it. A White House official predicted Thursday that the memo would probably be released, but possibly with some redactions to appease the Justice Department.