Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, blasted Republicans on Friday for releasing a classified memo alleging political bias and gross abuses of power within the nation's top law enforcement agencies.
"The release of this memo by House Intelligence Committee Republicans and the White House, over the objections of the FBI and the Department of Justice, is reckless and demonstrates an astonishing disregard for the truth," the Virginia Democrat said in a statement.
President Trump gave Congress a green light earlier Friday to make the top-secret memo public, days after Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee voted to release it. The president told reporters soon after approving the memo's release that its contents marked "a disgrace" at the top levels of the U.S. intelligence community.
Warner, who has seen the documents on which the memo is based, said Friday "they simply do not support its conclusions." He accused Republicans of jeopardizing national security by nevertheless approving its release.
"This unprecedented public disclosure of classified material during an ongoing criminal investigation is dangerous to our national security," Warner said. "This will make it far more difficult for the Intelligence Committees to conduct meaningful, bipartisan oversight of intelligence activities in the future."
He added, "This action was also taken without regard to the damage it could do to our ability to protect Americans from threats around the globe."
The memo comes as Trump and several GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated with special counsel Robert Mueller's handling of the ongoing investigation into Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.
Asked Friday if he still has confidence in deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of overseeing the Mueller probe, Trump told reporters: "You figure that one out."