Republicans no longer need to wonder if President Donald Trump will back their plans to declassify a memo, written by their own party, alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI. After the State of the Union on Tuesday night, Trump said he “100 percent” would.
The House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines on Monday to release the memo, which they call "worse than Watergate." Trump has five days from the time of the vote to decide what he'll do.
While making the rounds and shaking hands with lawmakers Tuesday night, the president came across Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan, who asked that Trump put the four-page memo out publicly.
“Mr. President, let’s release the memo,” Duncan said on a live C-SPAN camera feed from the House floor.
“Don’t worry, 100 percent,” Trump responded with a wave of his hand. “Can you imagine?”
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly confirmed Trump's plans in an interview on Fox News radio Wednesday morning. “It will be released here pretty quick, I think, and then the whole world can see it,” Kelly said. He also said he'd seen the memo.
Earlier on Tuesday, however, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during a press briefing that Trump hadn’t seen the memo and had “no current plans” to release it. Which statement the president will act on — Sanders' or Kelly's — remains to be seen.
The much-discussed memo alleges that during the 2016 presidential campaign, the FBI relied on the unverified (and salacious) Trump dossier to obtain a warrant to surveil Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Republicans take that as evidence of the intelligence community's bias against the Trump presidency, especially in its investigation of whether or not his campaign colluded with Russia to sway the election.