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Trump explains refusal to declassify Dems’ memo

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WASHINGTON (AP) -

The Latest on the Russia investigation (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is explaining his decision not to declassify a Democratic memo, saying the document is “very political” and needs heavy redactions.

The White House told the House Intelligence Committee the president is “unable” to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats about abuse of government surveillance powers in the FBI’s Russia probe.

Trump followed up with a tweet Saturday saying Democrats “knew, because of sources and methods (and more)” that it could not be declassified and released in full. He then claimed that Democrats would in turn blame the White House “for lack of transparency.”

It was not clear what the president meant by “(and more).” The Democratic memo is a response to a Republican memo alleging abuse of those surveillance powers.

___

12:30 a.m.

The White House has told the House Intelligence Committee that President Donald Trump is “unable” to declassify a memo drafted by Democrats about abuse of government surveillance powers in the FBI’s Russia probe.

The Democratic memo is a response to a Republican memo alleging abuse of those surveillance powers.

White House counsel Don McGahn says in a letter to the committee that the memo contains “numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages” and asked the intelligence panel to revise the memo with the help of the Justice Department.

He says Trump is still “inclined” to release the memo if revisions are made.

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