Schiff says Russia memo doesn’t vindicate Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on investigations into contacts between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. (all times local): 9:31 a.m. Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says there is nothing in a classified Republican memo on the Russia investigation that vindicates President Donald Trump.
He says Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the committee chairman, is pushing a “misleading narrative” to undermine the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump’s campaign was involved.
Schiff says, “This is not about the facts.” He says Trump also incorrectly claimed to be vindicated last year when Nunes shared evidence with the White House of a “vast unmasking conspiracy” that allegedly involved Obama officials inappropriately making requests to uncover the identities of Trump campaign officials in intelligence reports.
Schiff spoke at an event sponsored by the news site Axios.
A White House spokeswoman says she is not aware that President Donald Trump has seen a classified memo on the Russia investigation that he favors releasing.
Trump was overheard Tuesday night telling a Republican lawmaker he is “100 percent” in favor of releasing the memo. He spoke on the House floor after his first State of the Union address.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on CNN Wednesday morning that she was not aware Trump had seen the memo, adding that he had not “prior to and immediately after” the address.
Sanders said a legal and national security review into the memo continues.
The memo purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department in the Russia investigation. It has sparked a political fight pitting Republicans against the FBI and the Justice Department.
The White House says it will give a controversial memo connected to the Russia election meddling probe a legal and national security check before President Donald Trump decides whether to release it.
Yet Trump was overhead at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address telling a Republican lawmaker that he is “100 percent” in favor of releasing the memo. Television cameras captured the exchange as Trump was leaving the House chamber.
Republicans say the memo reveals improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department, a description Democrats dispute.
The memo arrived at the White House on Monday after the House intelligence committee brushed aside opposition from the Justice Department and voted to release it. Under committee rules, the president has five days to object to its release.