US President Donald Trump on Friday blocked the release of the Democratic memo on Russia that had been prepared by the Democrats amid the federal probe into the election interference. The president underscored in a Twitter post that the document is "very political" and should be "heavily redacted" before being made public.
The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 10 февраля 2018 г.
The new document was blocked because of the "numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages," according to a letter sent by White House counsel Don McGahn to the House Intelligence Committee that leads the probe. McGahn said the president is "inclined" to release the document if it's corrected.
The four-page document prepared by the Republicans sharply criticized the decision-making mechanism in the Justice Department and the FBI, which were allegedly biased in favor of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The memo also reads that the FBI was spying on Trump campaign aide Carter Page basing on the findings of the controversial "Trump dossier" that alleged the Republican presidential candidate colluded with the Russian government before and during the 2016 election campaign. The intelligence services haven't confirmed whether the findings of the Clinton campaign-funded dossier were true.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the accusations of attempting to influence elections in different countries. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the allegations "absolutely groundless;" Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there was no evidence of Russian meddling in any elections, including in the US, France and Germany; Russian President Vladimir Putin has also commented on the issue, saying it is the US that meddles in foreign states' political affairs all over the world, but Washington is trying to accuse Moscow of the meddling.