DC Daily: Trump explains decision for blocking Democratic memo

Posted at 7:27 AM, Feb 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-10 10:27:22-05

What's happening in the political world:

Trump says Democratic "knew" counter memo needed heavy redactions

-- President Donald Trump denied the release of a Democratic rebuttal to a GOP memo release detailing allegations against the FBI for wrongdoing.

President Trump tweeted early Saturday, saying Democratic leadership on the House Intelligence Committee knew their memo would be heavily redacted, in the least.

"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!" Trump tweeted.

In a Friday letter, White House counsel Donald McGahn said, "although the President is inclined to declassify the February 5th Memorandum, because the Memorandum contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages, he is unable to do so at this time."

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VP Pence continues Olympic bid to discredit North Korea

-- Vice President Mike Pence continues to downplay North Korea's involvement with this year's winter Olympic games in South Korea.

During the opening ceremonies of the games, Pence sat for the Korean delegation's entrance - reportedly only standing for Team USA - during the ceremony. Athletes from North and South Korea marched together under one flag.

Pence was also seated near Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and North Korean officials.

While North and South Korea have appeared to compete and celebrate the games together, Pence has maintained that he will not allow North Korea to "hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games" with its "propaganda," according to ABC News.

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Justice Department's third-ranking official resigns

-- Rachel Brand, the U.S. Justice Department's third-ranking official, will resign from her post and take a senior job at Walmart, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that Brand has grown increasingly uncomfortable with President Trump’s rhetoric on her department and the FBI.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised Brand's "critical role in helping us accomplish our goals as a department." Brand was next in the line of succession to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

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