Trump says memo 'totally vindicates' him of Russia investigation

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes  stands with Rep. Peter King, and Rep. Don De Santis as he announces that his committee and the House oversight committee are starting the investigation into Russia and Obama Admi

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes stands with Rep. Peter King, and Rep. Don De Santis as he announces that his committee and the House oversight committee are starting the investigation into Russia and Obama Admi

Soon afterwards, the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee released the document, which is based on classified information and alleges the FBI abused USA government surveillance powers in its investigation into Russian election interference.

Democrats and some Republicans say the memo - drafted by Devin Nunes, a Trump transition official, congressman and House Intelligence Committee chairman - is a thinly veiled effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged ties with Russian Federation, and possible obstruction of justice.

FBI director Christopher Wray sent a letter to employees Friday urging them to "keep calm and tackle hard" after the release of a highly controversial memo that claims the bureau and the Department of Justice improperly surveilled a Trump campaign adviser.

But Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who supported the release of the memo as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the document does not clear Trump of wrongdoing and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should continue digging. It alleges that federal officials relied on information from ex-spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democrats for his 2016 research, in obtaining a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

"I think it's awful, I think it's a disgrace", President Trump said at the White House.

"The interest wasn't oversight", Mr Schiff said of the decision to release the memo. "This is an American disgrace!" he wrote.

The memo asserts that the dossier was an "essential part" of the FISA application on Page.

The memo has raised concerns that the president is looking for a pretext to undermine or discredit the special counsel investigation, which now encompasses potential obstruction of justice by the White House.

He hit "send" nearly simultaneously on two different messages about two of his favourite subjects - the Russian Federation investigation and his poll numbers - as his motorcade rolled toward Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida where the first family is spending the weekend.


Republicans say a judge should have known "political actors" were involved in allegations that led the Justice Department to believe Mr Page might be an agent of a foreign power - an accusation has consistently and strenuously denied. "I think it would be a mistake for anyone to suggest that the special counsel shouldn't complete his work".

It's unclear so far how much the memo will help Trump and his allies.

The US President said the inquiry had found nothing and "collusion was dead".

What is disturbing about the memo, as Republican Arizona Sen.

Democrats say that is the real and political objective here, to undermine Mueller's investigation.

Page served as a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign and came under USA intelligence suspicion after traveling to Moscow and meeting with Russian officials.

The Intelligence Committee voted along party lines last week to release the memo despite warnings from national security officials. Asked in the Oval Office on Friday if he still had confidence in Rosenstein, Trump said: "You figure that one out".

The memo also omits Mr Page had been on the FBI's radar a few years earlier as part of a separate counterintelligence investigation into Russian influence.

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