The White House is no longer acting like it plans to give a shady intelligence memo put together by House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes a thorough review before deciding whether to publicly release it.
On Fox News Radio Wednesday morning, President Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly said that the four-page memo “will be released here pretty quick.” He said White House lawyers are currently examining it “so that we know what it means and what it understands.”
But his remarks suggested its release was a matter of when, not if.
“This president, again, it’s so unique that he wants everything out so the American people can make up their own minds and if there’s people to be held accountable, then so be it,” Kelly said.
Kelly’s comment comes after Trump himself, as he exited his State of the Union Tuesday night, was picked up on hot mic telling a Republican lawmaker, “Don’t worry, 100 percent,” when asked about releasing the memo.
Just prior to Trump’s speech, White House aides had told reporters that Trump had not yet read the memo. Administration aides had told CBS News earlier Tuesday that representatives from the Department of Justice, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence were all involved in review that would produce a recommendation from the White House counsel’s office as to whether it should be released.
Republicans have been hyping the four-page memo as evidence of misconduct by the FBI over the course of its Russia probe. Democrats have said that its misleading, but that because the underlying intelligence is classified, it will be difficult to provide to the public a full rebuttal to its claims. Nonetheless, they have compiled a counter-memo offering more context that they hope to release in the days to come. House Intel Republicans blocked their move to release both memos at the same time.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has also communicated to the White House that the memo is inaccurate and misleading in its claims, according to Bloomberg.