Trump claims vindication from controversial memo, critics label it a dud

World Today

It’s been a day since the release of a controversial memo in Washington. Governing-party Republicans claim it reveals political persecution of U.S. President Donald Trump.

But critics see it as an effort to undermine an investigation involving Russia. CGTN’s Toby Muse reports on the latest reactions.

After the famous so-called Nunes memo had been released, it was wielded by U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies to weaken the investigation in to possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and the Russian government.

The FBI has said it is worried that the memo is far from complete. Democrats said that Republicans will use the memo to discredit the ongoing Russia probe and reason to fire U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation. Even some Republicans dismissed the memo as nothing more than a partisan opinion piece.

Yet, President Trump seized on the memo and used it to attack the ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between his election campaign and the Russian government. He tweeted that “The memo totally vindicates Trump in probe…Collusion is dead…”

Trump also made it clear that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s position was far from safe. When asked if Trump had confidence in Rosenstein, the president responded “You’ll have to figure that one out.”

Still, Democrats rejected the release of the memo. “I understand the reactions that this is a big dud because they billed it as the greatest evidence of abuse since Watergate or the history of the republic. It heightens systemic abuse. We fought this because the precedent of releasing information, cherry picking evidence, it is a terrible line to cross, “said Rep. Adam Schiff D.Calif, Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Democrats have prepared their own memo as a rebuttal to that of the Republicans that could be released on Monday. The question is will that be too late to save the Russia investigation.

Eleanor Clift discusses the latest on the Nunes memo

U.S. President Donald Trump is claiming vindication after the release of a controversial memo. But critics say it cherry-picks evidence and crosses a line. To understand the significance and consequences of the memo, CGTN’s Susan Roberts spoke with Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast’s Washington correspondent.