Speed Reads

Playing politics

Trump won't release the Democratic memo without some changes. He approved the Nunes memo unchanged.

The White House sent a letter Friday evening to the House Intelligence Committee saying President Trump will not permit the publication of a memo compiled by committee Democrats unless it undergoes edits. "Although the president is inclined to declassify" the memo, wrote White House Counsel Don McGahn, it contains too many "properly classified and especially sensitive passages" and must be revised to "mitigate the risks."

This document is a rebuttal of the memo compiled under Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), also on the House Intelligence Committee, which was published without redaction earlier this month despite its classified content. The Nunes memo alleges FBI and FISA court misconduct in 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign aide, Carter Page. The two memos rely on the same source material.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking committee Democrat, issued a statement condemning Trump's decision as partisan hypocrisy unmoored from real national security concerns.

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously to release the Democratic memo. Committee members now must choose to work with the administration to make the changes the White House demands — or to override Trump's decision with a vote on the House floor.