Speed Reads

the maverick returns

John McCain assails Nunes memo, warns GOP is 'doing Putin's job for him'

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) released a statement Friday slamming recent efforts to discredit the integrity of U.S. intelligence agencies. "The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party, no president's, only [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's," McCain wrote.

McCain's statement came as Washington was consumed by the release of a controversial memo authored by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). The memo alleges improper FBI surveillance of President Trump's campaign in 2016. Its release was opposed by the FBI and the Justice Department, but the White House approved its publication earlier Friday.

"I fear [Russia] succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another," McCain wrote, referencing the ongoing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia's ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why [the FBI's Russia] investigation must proceed unimpeded." He continued: "If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin's job for him."

Trump reportedly believes the Nunes memo could help discredit the investigations into Russian meddling and any potential collusion by his team. Read McCain's full statement below. Kelly O'Meara Morales