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BTW

President Donald Trump began Friday morning by calling the FBI and Justice Department upper leadership corrupt, despite having already removed most of the upper leadership. Then he quoted Fox News.

According to the Daily Beast, Trump was on the phone with Sean Hannity recently, who persuaded the president to release the FISA memo. The infamous memo seems to have inspired another White House tweetstorm.

Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.) memo has dominated the news cycle since its existence was revealed just two weeks ago. In it, Nunes alleges that top officials abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to snoop on a former member of the Trump campaign, Carter Page.

Although Trump alleges bias in the upper echelon of the nation’s highest law enforcement branches, pretty much anyone involved is gone. FBI Director James Comey was fired by Trump, Jeff Sessions took over as attorney general for Loretta Lynch, and Sally Yates is out as assistant attorney general.

One recent resignation, though, has piqued the right. When Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe announced he was leaving the FBI in advance of his retirement, the assumption became that he would be outed by the Nunes memo.

Really, only Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein remains, and the New York Times revealed this week the memo goes after him. Rosenstein also is supervising Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and its ties to Russia.

The White House told reporters yesterday that Trump was “OK” with releasing the memo, and was planning on returning it to the House today. While obliquely referencing his decision on Twitter, Trump quoted a guest on his favorite morning show, Fox & Friends.  

On Twitter, Hannity denied that he was speaking with the president about the memo.

As with any stance Trump takes though, people noted that he once stood for something else. Trump took a hardline stance in 2014 against a government agency releasing classified information, demanding that the CIA torture report—one of the more damning assessments of American abuse of power—not be released.

The House is debating how best to release Nunes’ memo, with the possibility being that they read it out loud on the House floor, so no members could be prosecuted for releasing classified information.

David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]