President Donald Trump smiles during State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

The Latest: House intelligence chairman fires back at FBI

January 31, 2018 - 3:53 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on investigations into contacts between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee is firing back at the FBI and the Justice Department over a classified memo alleging abuses of the government's surveillance powers.

Rep. Devin Nunes of California, a close ally of President Donald Trump, says in a statement that the objections of the Trump administration's FBI and the Justice Department to publicly releasing the GOP-authored memo are "spurious."

Nunes also says top federal law enforcement officials "misused" intelligence agencies and the courts during a counter-intelligence investigation during the 2016 election by using "unverified information in a court document."

The White House is reviewing the memo. Republicans have said it shows abuses of the government's surveillance apparatus. Democrats have called it a "cherry-picked" group of GOP talking points.

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2:35 p.m.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says Republicans have misled fellow members of Congress with a classified memo pertaining to the Russia probe and is asking whether President Donald Trump will do the same with the country.

California Rep. Adam Schiff is challenging Trump as the president reviews the classified information that House intelligence committee voted to make public on Monday over Democratic objections. The GOP memo is an effort to detail what they say is improper use of surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department. Trump has a five-day review, and it will be released if he doesn't object.

The FBI said it has "grave concerns" about the memo's accuracy. Schiff tweeted that Republicans have "used this memo to mislead the House. Will the president now use it to mislead the country?"

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12:45 p.m.

The FBI says it has "grave concerns" about omissions in a classified memo on the Russia investigation that President Donald Trump wants to release to the public.

The statement Wednesday was the FBI's first public comment about a four-page memo that was drafted by Republicans on the House intelligence committee and that has divided the Trump Justice Department and White House.

In its statement, the FBI says, "We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."

The statements came hours after Trump was overheard telling a Republican lawmaker that he was "100 percent" in favor of releasing the document.

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9:31 a.m.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, says there is nothing in a classified Republican memo on the Russia investigation that vindicates President Donald Trump.

He says Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the committee chairman, is pushing a "misleading narrative" to undermine the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign was involved.

Schiff says, "This is not about the facts."

He says Trump also incorrectly claimed to be vindicated last year when Nunes shared evidence with the White House of a "vast unmasking conspiracy" that allegedly involved Obama officials inappropriately making requests to uncover the identities of Trump campaign officials in intelligence reports.

Schiff spoke at an event sponsored by the news site Axios.

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9:10 a.m.

A White House spokeswoman says she is not aware that President Donald Trump has seen a classified memo on the Russia investigation that he favors releasing.

Trump was overheard Tuesday night telling a Republican lawmaker he is "100 percent" in favor of releasing the memo. He spoke on the House floor after his first State of the Union address.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on CNN Wednesday morning that she was not aware Trump had seen the memo, adding that he had not "prior to and immediately after" the address.

Sanders said a legal and national security review into the memo continues.

The memo purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department in the Russia investigation. It has sparked a political fight pitting Republicans against the FBI and the Justice Department.

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2:02 a.m.

The White House says it will give a controversial memo connected to the Russia election meddling probe a legal and national security check before President Donald Trump decides whether to release it.

Yet Trump was overhead at Tuesday night's State of the Union address telling a Republican lawmaker that he is "100 percent" in favor of releasing the memo. Television cameras captured the exchange as Trump was leaving the House chamber.

Republicans say the memo reveals improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department, a description Democrats dispute.

The memo arrived at the White House on Monday after the House intelligence committee brushed aside opposition from the Justice Department and voted to release it. Under committee rules, the president has five days to object to its release.

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