Trump met with Justice Dept. on Democratic memo, 'weighing his options'
Posted February 9, 2018 5:28 p.m. EST
(CNN) — The White House says President Donald Trump met with Justice officials and White House lawyers Friday on the Democrats' memo, is "weighing his options and will respond soon."
Trump said earlier Friday he plans to release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.
"It's gonna be released soon," Trump told reporters at the White House, adding, "We're going to release a letter."
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on Monday to release the 10-page Democratic memo, and the committee rules give him five days -- or until the end of the day Saturday -- to decide whether to block or allow its release.
"This afternoon, the President met with the director of the FBI, the principal associate deputy attorney general, and the White House Counsel's Office to discuss the memorandum from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and receive their input," principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said. "The President is weighing his options and will respond soon."
The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, was written to rebut the Republican memo released one week prior, which accuses the FBI of suppressing Democratic ties to an opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia used in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant for former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Schiff and other Democrats charge that the Republican memo led by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of California is misleading and omits key facts, including that the FISA application did state that ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was paid by a political entity.
On Friday, the committee released a transcript of its Monday meeting when the vote was held. The hourlong meeting was a contentious affair where Democratic and Republican committee members fought over both the Democratic memo and the memo authored by Republicans.
"This memo contains a large volume of classified information, including some touching on sources and methods heightening the potential damage to national security," Nunes said.
"In order to rebut the errors, omissions and distortions in the Republican-drafted memo, we have included certain details beyond the revelations made public by the release of the majority's document," Schiff said.