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Trump hasn’t read classified Russia documents he wants to release

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U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the White House in Washington
President
Donald Trump wants to release the FBI’s application to surveil
one of his campaign aides.


REUTERS/Yuri
Gripas



  • President Donald Trump admitted Tuesday he has not read
    classified documents related to the Russia investigation that
    he recently ordered to be released to
    the public.
  • “I have had many people ask me to release them,” Trump
    told Hill.TV. “Not that I didn’t like the idea, but I wanted to
    wait, I wanted to see where it was all going.”
  • Trump’s decision alarmed national security
    experts
    , who cautioned that the declassification of some of
    the materials could endanger the lives of confidential
    sources.
  • Mark Warner, the ranking member on the Senate
    Intelligence Committee, has read the documents Trump wants
    released, and issued a stark warning following the
    White House’s announcement.

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President Donald Trump told Hill.TV during a Tuesday
interview that he is convinced the sensitive Russia documents
that he ordered to be declassified will prove that the Russia
investigation is a “hoax.”

There’s one caveat, according to The Hill: the president has not
read the materials he wants released to the public.

“I have had many people ask me to release them,” Trump said. “Not
that I didn’t like the idea but I wanted to wait, I wanted to see
where it was all going.”

He said his goal was to let the public ultimately decide, adding,
“All I want to do is be transparent.”

On Monday evening, the White House announced that Trump had
directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and
the Department of Justice (DOJ) “to provide for the immediate
declassification” of parts of the FBI’s June 2017 application to
surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as FBI
reports of interviews connected to Page and DOJ official Bruce
Ohr.

The president also asked the FBI and the DOJ to release, without
redaction, all text messages pertaining to the Russia
investigation from former FBI director James Comey, former deputy
FBI director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI
lawyer Lisa Page, and Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.

The move marks the latest escalation in Trump’s broadsides
against the FBI and DOJ after Comey confirmed last year that the
FBI was investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with
Moscow to tilt the 2016 race in his favor.

Trump’s decision alarmed national security
experts
, who cautioned that the declassification of some of
the material Trump wants released could endanger the lives of
confidential sources and harm the US’s relationship with its
foreign allies.

Congressional Democrats also decried Trump’s move, accusing him
of interfering in an active investigation into him and his
associates, and of using the country’s law-enforcement agencies
for his own political motives.

Republicans, meanwhile, applauded the president for what they
described as an effort to promote full transparency.

Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence
Committee, revealed Monday that FBI
director Chris Wray and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein
had told him that the release of such sensitive documents related
to the Russia probe and the FBI’s sources and methods would
breach a “red line.”

Mark Warner, the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence
Committee, has read the underlying documents that Trump wants
released, and he issued a stark warning following the
White House’s announcement: “Be careful what you wish for.”

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