.@CLewandowski_: “Democrats specifically put information in this memo that they knew the White House could not sign off on because of national security reasons.” pic.twitter.com/xR19ljbSKq— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 10, 2018
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski accused Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee of deliberately including classified or sensitive information in the memo which was blocked by President Trump on Friday as part of some political ploy.
"Democrats specifically put information in this memo that they knew the White House could not sign off on because of national security reasons," Lewandowski said on Fox News early Saturday morning.
He added that the White House has embraced transparency, but House Intelligence ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and other Democrats on the panel aren't concerned about "what is best for the American people."
"Adam Schiff and others in the Democratic Party want to put the White House in a position of knowing the information that's in the memo that they sent over cannot be released for national security reasons," Lewandowski said, before noting the House could do a vote to override Trump's decision but that they and the White House know the information that the Democrats included "is strictly partisan and is classified and cannot be released."
Democrats say their 10-page memo provides much-needed context and details missing from the GOP memo released the Friday before last, despite protests from Democrats, the DOJ, and the FBI, which details alleged surveillance abuse by the U.S. government. However, after it was approved for release by the House Intelligence Committee, Trump declined to have it released without redactions, citing national security concerns, and sent it back to the committee for review.
Lewandowski's comments Saturday echo that of Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., an member of the panel who helped put the GOP memo together, who suggested last week that Democrats may have purposely included sensitive information in their report.
"I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the [FBI] or the Department of Justice to say it needs to be redacted. Therefore, it creates this belief that there's something being hidden from the American people," Gowdy told Fox News. "Unfortunately, we are in an environment where you would include material that you know has to be redacted, and you know responsible people are going to redact just so that questions will be asked."
Schiff called this notion Republican "spin."
"It sets the context. And there’s a lot we left out," he told Bloomberg News. "So, I’m not surprised they would like to see some omitted from our response."