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Trump says memo release 'totally vindicates' him in Russia probe
President Trump took to Twitter Saturday to react to the release of a previously classified memo alleging abuse of government surveillance powers by the Justice Department, claiming the memo "totally vindicates" him and assailing the Russia investigation as "an American disgrace."
"This memo totally vindicates 'Trump' in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on," Trump tweeted. "Their [sic] was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!"
The memo, released Friday, accuses senior Justice Department officials of improperly using information from the so-called Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a member of the Trump transition team and former Trump adviser.
Republicans have seized on the memo's release, saying it proves the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, led by special counsel Robert Mueller, is tainted by bias.
But it also says the Russia investigation was triggered by information the bureau obtained about George Papadopoulos, a former adviser to the campaign, rather than by Page.
Trump on Friday approved the release of the memo, despite objections from top officials at the FBI and Justice Department. He called its revelations disgraceful.
"I think it's a disgrace," he told reporters. "A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves."
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee blasted Republicans' decision to release the memo, saying the document mischaracterizes sensitive information and fails to provide important context.
"It fails to provide vital context and information contained in DOJ's FISA application and renewals, and ignores why and how the FBI initiated, and the Special Counsel has continued, its counterintelligence investigation into Russia's election interference and links to the Trump campaign," the minority said in a statement Friday.
Democrats on the Intelligence Committee are pushing to release their own memo rebutting the GOP document.
[Source: By Brandon Carter, The Hill, Washington, 03Feb18]
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