In a surprise move, President Donald Trump has withdrawn his request to declassify information related to the ongoing Russia probe. A statement released by the White House suggested that Trump was planning to order the Department of Justice to declassify parts of the secret court order and to publish the unredacted texts of FBI and Justice Department officials, including Andrew McCabe and James B. Comey.
The Washington Post’s national security reporter Devlin Barrett writes that the order by Trump to keep the information classified illustrates “ongoing tensions between the White House and the Justice Department over the probe.” For months, conservative officials have been requesting the release of the documents on the Russia probe investigation, as it seems as though they have been hiding information that, according to Barrett, “might discredit the Mueller investigation.”
Multiple tweets by Trump Friday morning attempted to explain how, even though he has been told by key allies not to release the documents as they claim it will not reflect positively on the Russia probe, Trump can still “always declassify if it proves necessary.”
Senator Mark Warner responded to the President’s tweets saying, “This underscores why the President should be relying on the expertise and advice of intelligence and law enforcement professionals, not cable news hosts.”
You can read Barrett’s full report here.