ABC Suggests White House Hiding Evidence With Memo Redactions

On Saturday, the White House officially allowed the rebuttal memo drafted by House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee to be released. The memo was meant to rebuke the one released by their Republican counterparts a few weeks ago, but the FBI requested that certain information be redacted because it exposed sources and methods. In response to the release, ABC’s Good Morning America touted the memo on Sunday but claimed the White House was responsible for the redactions and suggested they were hiding something.

The latest memo was written up by Congressman Adam Schiff (Calif.) and was meant to be a “point by point rebuttal of another Republican memo released weeks ago. Subject line, ‘correcting the record, the Russia investigations,’” hyped White House Correspondent David Wright at the start of his report. And with great snarkiness, he added: “As it says there on the bottom, top secret, until now. When the Republicans finally got around to declassifying it.

Wright failed to mention that the Republicans unanimously voted to release the Democratic memo weeks ago and that the holdup was the FBI, just as he did with explaining who wanted the redactions.

 

 

After claiming “the Schiff memo insists ‘DOJ provided additional information obtained by multiple independent sources’ that corroborated [British spy Michael] Steele's reporting,” he suggested that the White House was the one trying to hide something. “But whatever that evidence might have been, is now blacked out. Censored by the Trump White House, which insists releasing the details would compromise national security,” he declared with skepticism.

“This one document has been at the center of a political storm here in Washington. And while it may not prove Russian meddling in American politics,” Wright admitted. “It does prove that the Russia issue has poisoned American politics.” He seemed almost amused by the tension the Russian investigation had brought to the committee, quipping:

To say there's a partisan divide over the House Intelligence Committee would be an understatement. We understand that things are so bad there is even talk over in the committee’s basement offices on Capitol Hill of building a physical barrier between Democratic and Republican staff members. Kind of another version of Trump's wall.

There were key details in the story that explained why the Democratic memo had such a delayed release, but Wright and ABC had no interest in providing an accurate story. Clearly, for them, it was more about smearing Republicans and the White House.

The relevant portions of the transcript are below, click expand to read: 

 

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ABC
Good Morning America
February 25, 2018
8:07:44 AM Eastern [3 minutes 19 seconds]

PAULA FARIS: The other big story this morning. The Russia probe back in the news.

DAN HARRIS: The Democrats finally releasing their memo. It's a rebuttal to a controversial and much publicized Republican memo, which came out a couple weeks ago and alleged that the FBI abused its powers in the Russian investigation. The President weighing in overnight. David Wright is at the White House. David, good morning to you.

DAVID WRIGHT: Good morning, Dan and Paula. This one document has been at the center of a political storm here in Washington. And while it may not prove Russian meddling in American politics, it does prove that the Russia issue has poisoned American politics. Things are as toxic as they have ever been.

[Cuts to video]

This is the memo in the middle of this fight. The Democrats' point by point rebuttal of another Republican memo released weeks ago. Subject line, “correcting the record, the Russia investigations.” As it says there on the bottom, top secret, until now. When the Republicans finally got around to declassifying it. President Trump wasted no time declaring the new memo a total political and legal bust. On Twitter. Dissing it on Fox News, too.

(…)

WRIGHT: Congressman Devin Nunes who wrote the original Republican memo accusing FBI investigators of abusing their powers to spy on candidate Trump told conservative activists this weekend, he wanted this Democratic response out weeks ago when the White House released his memo.

DEVIN NUNES: We want it out because we think it is clear evidence that the Democrats are not only trying to cover this up. They're also colluding with parts of the government to help cover this up.

WRIGHT: The author of the new memo, Democrat Adam Schiff doesn't buy that.

ADAM SCHIFF: If the President thought this democratic memo was a bust, he wouldn't have tried to conceal it as long as he did, and he wouldn't be releasing on it a Saturday morning. And he wouldn't be going on fox today to try to rebut it.

WRIGHT: Schiff's memo insists the FBI and the Department of Justice did not justify early wiretapping warrants in the Russia investigation solely based on the so-called dodgy dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and paid for by the Clinton campaign. The Schiff memo insists “DOJ provided additional information obtained by multiple independent sources” that corroborated Steele's reporting. But whatever that evidence might have been, is now blacked out. Censored by the Trump White House, which insists releasing the details would compromise national security.

SCHIFF: While we would have preferred fewer redactions. I think what they proposed was reasonable. But I think that doesn't obscure the fact that the White House attempted to suppress this memo.

[Cuts back to live]

WRIGHT: To say there's a partisan divide over the House Intelligence Committee would be an understatement. We understand that things are so bad there is even talk over in the committee’s basement offices on Capitol Hill of building a physical barrier between Democratic and Republican staff members. Kind of another version of Trump's wall. Dan and Paula?

HARRIS: A sign of the time. David Wright. Thank you. David, we appreciate it.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Russia Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals #ReleaseTheMemo Trump-Russia probe Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America Video David Wright Donald Trump Adam Schiff Devin Nunes

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