In rebuttal to claims from congressional Democrats that President Donald Trump ruled against releasing their memo last week for political purposes, the president’s former campaign manager has accused Democrats of intentionally including classified information in that memo to prevent Trump from even releasing it in the first place.
“Democrats specifically put information in this memo that they knew the White House could not sign off on because of national security reasons,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Saturday on Fox News.
He added that the memo is therefore “strictly partisan” and “classified,” and thus “cannot be released.”
“Adam Schiff and others in the Democratic Party want to put the White House in a position of knowing the information that’s in the memo that they sent over cannot be released for national security reasons,” he continued, referring to the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who drafted the Democrats’ memo.
These remarks echoed ones made last week by Rep. Trey Gowdy, who said, “I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the (FBI) or the Department of Justice to say it needs to be redacted.”
“Therefore, it creates this belief that there’s something being hidden from the American people,” the South Carolina Republican added. “Unfortunately, we are in an environment where you would include material that you know has to be redacted, and you know responsible people are going to redact it just so that question will be asked.”
Lewandowski and Gowdy appeared to be suggesting that Schiff knew Trump’s inability to release the Democrats’ memo over national security concerns could be spun against him. Remarks made Sunday by Schiff appear to back this.
“The president doesn’t want you to see these facts from the FISA application because it completely undermines his claim of vindication,” Schiff said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” according to The Hill.
The memo drafted by Schiff was crafted to counter a memo published earlier this month by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes.
That memo included evidence that the administration of former President Barack Obama used a dubious dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campagin to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Service Act warrant against former Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Schiff has claimed the facts contained in his own memo disprove Nunes’ narrative. But because Schiff’s memo reportedly features classified information as well, it cannot be released.
However, in a tweet posted Saturday the president made it clear he would release the memo as long as it is fixed and then resubmitted to him.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway reiterated this stance on ABC’s “This Week,” telling host George Stephanopoulos that the memo “contains sources and methods that could be very compromising.”
“So they want to make sure that that is cured before it is released to the public,” she added.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.