The White House on Friday night declined to release the memo prepared by Democratic members on the House Intelligence Committee
In a letter transmitted to the committee late Friday, the White House counsel Donald McGahn said though President Trump was “inclined to declassify” he won’t be doing so because of national security reasons.
In the letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., McGahn said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were involved in the review of the 10-page memo.
The three officials “identified portions” of the memo that if disclosed, they said “would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests."
The memo “contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages,” and thus Trump will not declassify it, McGahn's letter reads.
However, McGahn wrote that the president has directed the Justice Department to give “technical assistance” to the committee if they decide they want to “revise” the memo to “mitigate the risks identified.”
“The president encourages the committee to undertake these efforts,” McGahn wrote, adding the White House is ready to look review any new draft offered in the future.
The 10-page memo was spearheaded by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. — the committee’s top Democrat — to rebut to a memo released by the committee last week.
That memo put together by the staff of the Republican majority alleged abuses by top DOJ and FBI officials in the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act against members of the Trump campaign.
Earlier Friday, the committee released a transcript of its Monday meeting when the vote was held to release the Democratic memo.
In the contentious hour-long meeting, Nunes declined to say if the White House had a hand in the creation of the GOP memo, and a Democrat on the committee said his party’s memo directly rebuked a major claim about the use of FISA within the Republican’s memo.