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Trump blocks release of democratic Russia memo

MNA International Desk: President Donald Trump is refusing to declassify a high-profile memo written by Democratic lawmakers about the Russia probe.

In a letter to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee Friday, White House counsel Don McGahn says the memo “contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages.”

The Democrats’ memo aimed to counter a Republican-drafted one the president declassified and released.

FBI chief Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a separate letter indicated that releasing this material would present concerns for the “protection of intelligence sources and methods, ongoing investigations and other similarly sensitive information.”

House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s move to block “stunningly brazen attempt to cover up the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal from the American people.”

“The president’s decision to block the Democratic memo from release is part of a dangerous and desperate pattern of cover-up on the part of the president,” she said in a statement.

“Clearly, the president has something to hide.”

The previously released Republican text alleges anti-Trump bias in the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election that brought Trump to power.

The Justice Department and the FBI had also warned against releasing the Republican memo, saying it could jeopardise US intelligence collection methods. Trump authorised its release anyway.

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