Trump claims memo “vindicates” him in Mueller probe

Plus, Nunes reportedly didn’t read the FISA applications

By Nicole Karlis

Published February 3, 2018 6:28PM (EST)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump broke silence on Twitter about the GOP-Nunes memo following its release on Friday claiming that it vindicates him in the Russia probe, and once again turned it into an opportunity to deny any alleged obstruction and collusion with Russia.

“This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.

The partisan document—which has been described as “worse than a nothing burger”— was released by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and provided little insightful information, leading some to speculate that the GOP might be trying to create a distraction from the Russia probe. The report argued that the Steele dossier was biased; Trump approved the classified document to be released on Friday.

To further add to the memo's probable illegitimacy, Nunes made an appearance on FOX News “Special Report,” with Bret Baier on Friday to talk about its release.

“I have an obligation to the American people when we see FISA abuse," Nunes said in the interview. "These are secret courts that exist to target for foreigners, for catching terrorists, for catching people who might be bad actors and the American citizens that are represented before this court have to be protected, and the only place that can protect them is the U.S. Congress when abuses do occur.”

In the same interview, he said that he didn’t read the FISA applications.

“No, I didn’t,” Nunes told Baier, when asked if he saw the applications.

The emerging developments and continuous discussions are even concerning to some republican lawmakers. Indeed, Senator John McCain, R-AR, released a statement on Friday saying Trump was “doing Putin’s job for him.”

The statement said:

“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Devin Nunes Donald Trump Mueller Investigation Russia Collusion Trump 2016 Campaign