House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes wants the Democratic rebuttal to his FISA memo released. That doesn't mean he's a fan of what's in it.
Heck, he just wants the "ridiculous" thing out already.
"We actually want the Democratic memo out. We think it’s ridiculous on the face of it," Nunes said during an interview on Fox News. "We think it’s very political about how they attack myself, they attack Chairman Gowdy, they turn Carter Page into some super-secret Russian spy, they talk about how Christopher Steele is a really, really good source when we know that he lied to the FBI."
The Republican-authored memo released a couple weeks ago detailed surveillance abuses at the FBI. It purports that the agency abused FISA rules to spy on members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election with an unsubstantiated Russian dossier. President Trump welcomed the report, suggesting it "vindicated" him from those pesky Russian collusion claims.
The Democrats pushed back, saying the four-page document omitted important context. Their 10-page response tells the whole story, they insist. Yet, on Friday President Trump decided not to declassify their response because it would threaten national security, he said.
However, the White House said Monday they will release it if the Democrats clean it up a bit.
The Democrats "intentionally put sources and methods in the document knowing the White House wouldn't be able to release it," according to Trump’s legislative affairs director Marc Short.
"You clean it up, you work with the F.B.I., and then send it back to us and we're happy to release it," Short said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) came to the same conclusion. The Democrats are politically savvy enough to know that sending over a memo that needs redactions would paint the narrative that the White House is hiding something.
The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Nunes said that if his Democratic counterparts were serious about getting the truth out, they'd spend less time on TV and more time on those redactions.
"The Democrats have been on TV all weekend long. Their memo is sitting at the House Intelligence Committee down at the bottom of the Capitol waiting to be redacted," he said. "If they really wanted to get it out, they’d be down there all day yesterday redacting it, getting it back over to the White House so that the public can know what’s in it."