White House spokesman Raj Shah said Monday morning that should the House vote to release a memo crafted by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA), the White House will conduct a national security review of the memo to determine whether it should be released to the public.
“If that happens, we’re going to have a whole national security review and look at this document and then make a determination. The President will make a determination,” Shah said on CNN’s “New Day.”
On Sunday, White House legislative aide Marc Short said that Trump is “inclined” to release the memo, but the President has not yet read the memo, Shah revealed Monday morning.
The memo reportedly purports to show that FBI officials misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court when asking for approval to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page by failing to reveal that one of the FBI’s sources, dossier author Christopher Steele, was being paid by Democrats. However, the FBI did not rely solely on Steele for its FISA application. A new report in the New York Times reveals that the memo claims Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approved the decision to surveil Page.
House Republicans have been lobbying for the memo to be released to the public, but must go through a lengthy process since the document contains classified information. Democrats have argued against releasing the memo and have accused Republicans of crafting a misleading memo that merely seeks to bolster GOP anti-FBI rhetoric.
Justice Department officials have also warned against the memo’s release, though House Republicans have not granted their requests to review it. Shah on Monday morning indicated that the White House would also leave the Justice Department out of its review process if the House votes to release the memo.
“The constitutional process as laid out involves the house of representatives, the House Intelligence Committee and the White House and the President of the United States. The Department of Justice doesn’t have a role in this process,” he said.