WASHINGTON — Citing national security concerns, the White House is formally notifying the House intelligence committee that President Donald Trump is “unable” to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats that counters GOP allegations about abuse of government surveillance powers.
White House counsel Don McGahn says in a letter to the committee that the memo contains “numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages.” He is asking the Democrats to revise the memo with the help of the Justice Department.
McGahn says Trump is still “inclined” to release the memo in the interest of transparency if revisions are made.
Democrats on the House panel drafted their memo to counter claims in a document released last week by Republicans, led by committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes of California.
California Rep. Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the committee, responded on Twitter:
After ignoring urging of FBI & DOJ not to release misleading Nunes memo because it omits material facts, @POTUS now expresses concerns over sharing precisely those facts with public and seeks to send it back to the same Majority that produced the flawed Nunes memo to begin with: pic.twitter.com/qNVyS99eXs
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 10, 2018