White House weighs release of classified Nunes memo on alleged DOJ, FBI abuses

Classified memo release
Classified memo release 01:58

WASHINGTON -- President Trump is still considering whether to release a classified memo about alleged surveillance abuses by the Department of Justice and the FBI that was written by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Republicans wanted the memo to be released Wednesday, but the FBI strongly advised against it. 

In a rare public statement Wednesday morning, the FBI pushed back hard against the memo's release

"We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impacts the memo's accuracy," the bureau said. 

It was a stinging challenge to Mr. Trump by Christopher Wray, his handpicked FBI director. 

Monday night, Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met Chief of Staff John Kelly at the White House to argue against the release of the memo. 

The four-page document, authorized by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, alleges the FBI and DOJ acted improperly when seeking a warrant to surveil a Trump campaign official. 

Nunes asserted Wednesday that "it's clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counterintelligence investigation during an American political campaign."

Democrats accuse Nunes and the White House of distorting the facts in the review in order to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation

"The goal of it is to provide a misleading impression to the country that benefits the president, that protects the president, that casts doubt on the investigation and the FBI," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. 

On Tuesday night, as he was leaving the State of the Union speech, the president said he was committed to making it public. White House and national security officials are still reviewing whether to block the memo's release, but Kelly said Wednesday he expects it to be released "pretty quick."