It looks like Memogate is only just getting started, and President Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to prime his supporters for Round 2.
He praised Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican architect of the original memo, as a “Great American Hero” and lashed out at “Little” Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. The two intel committee leaders are at odds over the Friday release of the Republicans’ memo alleging FBI surveillance abuses in the Russia probe, which had dominated political conversation for about two weeks. The committee is expected to vote at 5 p.m. Monday on releasing a Democratic response to the GOP memo.
The Nunes salute continues Trump’s public approval of the original document, after he tweeted Saturday that it “totally vindicates” him from the Russia “witch hunt.” The document, spearheaded by Nunes and approved for release by the White House, was widely criticized for selectively using classified information to suggest the FBI used biased sources as justification for surveilling a Trump campaign adviser with ties to Russia.
The response from the Democrats would still need presidential approval before it goes public.
Republicans in the House had previously stymied releasing the counter-memo, but now the White House, alongside Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan, have signalled they’re open to it going forward.
The Republican memo, which drew a rare public rebuke from the FBI ahead of its release, used previously classified intel to suggest that the agency improperly used information from a dossier of opposition research funded by Democrats to secure a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Democrats, who’ve criticized the memo controversy for what they see as an attempt to politicize the intelligence-gathering process and undermine the Russia investigation, are expected to push back against these claims in their 10-page release.
Trump has made a habit of mocking his critics and rivals on Twitter with juvenile nicknames. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was blasted as “Cryin’” Chuck after criticizing Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and Bob Corker was mocked as “Liddle’” Bob Corker after the senator said Trump’s leadership was pushing the U.S. toward World War III.
And if you’re already tired of hearing the word memo...well, plug your ears: There could be as five more memos coming from Republicans alleging politically motivated “wrongdoing” at various government agencies, Axios reported Sunday.