While House Republicans may have voted to released Rep. Devin Nunes’ controversial memo purporting to detail surveillance abuses by the FBI against the Trump campaign, but Congress has yet to make it public. What’s more, House Democrats have accused Nunes of making “material changes” to the memo before sending it to the White House, while FBI Director Christopher Wray has outright condemned it for its apparent inaccuracies and wild speculations.
According to a new CNN report, however, President Trump has read the memo and seems to think it “could help discredit the Russia investigation” being led by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. And he’s reportedly bragging about it on the phone:
In recent phone calls, Trump has told friends he believes the memo would expose bias within the agency’s top ranks and make it easier for him to argue the Russia investigations are prejudiced against him, according to two sources.
That the president believes the Mueller probe and several other congressional investigations into alleged Russian collusion are a “witch hunt” comes as no surprise. Nor, for that matter, as Trump kept his support for releasing the Nunes memo that much of a secret. With CNN’s latest, and the fact that Mueller is also investigating Team Trump for possible obstruction of justice, the president’s reported comments aren’t helping matters much.
The White House confirmed with CNN that Trump had read Nunes’ memo and discussed it with John Kelly, his chief of staff. As for his alleged “discredit” comments to friends, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said the “the purpose is transparency” and nothing more. “This is a legislative process, they have initiated it. We are only following through on our role throughout the House rules.”