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Republicans Just Turned Their Backs On Trump And His Memo Release

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Shortly after he decided to de-classify a House Intelligence Committee memo that was highly partisan and critically incomplete, President Donald Trump tweeted out that the document “totally vindicates” him.

“Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction,” the president wrote over the weekend. He added that the investigation “is an American disgrace!”

Unfortunately for Trump, many members of the House committee that released the memo disagree — including prominent members of his own party.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) probably caused quite a bit of confusion earlier this week when he disagreed with Trump on his tweet’s assertion. Gowdy, who is typically seen as a conservative stalwart, said the memo didn’t affect the outcome of the investigation in one way or another.

“I atually don’t think it has any impact on the Russia probe,” Gowdy said.

Four other GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee agree, including Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Will Hurd (R-TX) and Peter King (R-NY).

That should put a huge hole in the sail for Trump and his supporters, who maintain that the Nunes memo makes clear that a FISA warrant was obtained inappropriately. But that argument, as well as others, that conservative Trump supporters have made — namely, that the so-called Christopher Steele dossier was the catalyst for the investigation — were disproven in the same memo.

Now, a new memo, authored by Democratic members of the committee, has been approved by a unanimous vote from committee members. It goes to Trump now, who must determine whether to approve its release or not.

That puts the president in a tough spot. If he approves the memo’s release, it will likely discount, challenge, or explain away many of the assertions made in the Republican memo released last week. If he doesn’t release the memo, then his central claim for releasing the original one (to increase transparency) falls flat.

Either way, we should expect Trump to show his full force of confidence behind whatever decision he makes — that’s just how Trump operates. His Republican colleagues in Congress, however, may show a little more skepticism behind his decision, especially if it’s the choice to keep the Democratic memo hidden.

Trump may not be familiar with the nuances of politics, but even a layman can see that a hypocritical choice on the memos would be a mistake. In either event, one thing is for certain: Trump’s claims of vindication were greatly mistaken.


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