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After giving a State of the Union address calling for Americans to overcome their differences and “seek out common ground,” President Donald Trump was overheard endorsing one of the most controversial and partisan matters to hit Washington in years.
As he exited the Capitol chamber after delivering his speech, Trump was asked by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) to release the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) memo written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), which alleges the Obama administration abused its authority by surveilling the Trump campaign.
“Oh, yeah, 100 percent. Don’t worry,” he said.
The Nunes memo has rocked Washington ever since its existence was revealed just a couple of weeks ago. Details of it have begun to leak, and it purportedly discusses a decision made by the Justice Department (DOJ) to continue surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page after Trump took office. It also claims that DOJ and the FBI willfully misled the FISA court when obtaining the original and new order to surveil Page, by using information from the Steele dossier they call false.
The House Intelligence Committee voted Monday night to release the memo and also to block the release of a memo written by Democrats that presents a different understanding of the matter.
Trump has four more days to decide if the memo should remain classified, although that now seems unlikely. According to CNN, it hasn’t been released only because Trump didn’t want it to affect the “unifying message” of his State of the Union.
The White House received a last-minute pitch from DOJ on Tuesday to keep the memo classified, but that has fallen on deaf ears.
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]