White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Monday that President Donald Trump is working on declassifying documents related to the Russia investigation while he is working from Walter Reed hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
“This morning we’ve already had a couple of discussions on items that he wants to get done,” Meadows said in the interview. “Candidly, he’s already tasked me with getting declassification rolling in a follow-up to some of the requests that Devin Nunes and others have made,” he said, referring to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Meadows didn’t disclose what documents Trump was working on declassifying.
House Republicans over the weekend said they will combat efforts from U.S. intelligence agencies to disclose classified information surrounding investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Nunes told Fox News that an overhaul of the U.S. intelligence community might be warranted if more information isn’t declassified.
“We want every damn bit of evidence that every intelligence agency has, or it’s maybe time to shut those agencies down,” the California Republican said. “Because, at the end of the day … our liberties are more important than anything else we have in this country. And they have been stampeded over by these dirty cops.”
He called for the release of memos from interviews that the FBI carried out with Christopher Steele, who authored the controversial and discredited Steele dossier about Trump. Steele, a former British intelligence officer, was ultimately paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to investigate alleged links between Trump and Russia.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Nunes both told Fox News that they saw evidence from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe saying in July 2016, intelligence agencies obtained information about Russian intelligence analysis alleging that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to “stir up a scandal” against President Trump that would tie him to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Every member of Congress should read the underlying information behind this,” McCarthy said. “This is really a bombshell of what we have wasted so much time on, that it was created by Hillary Clinton.”
Ratcliffe’s letter, which was made public by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), alleged that handwritten notes by former CIA Director John Brennan show that he briefed former President Barack Obama and other top national security officials on the Russian intelligence analysis. Top intelligence officials also forwarded a referral to former FBI Director James Comey and then-Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok.
Democrats accused Ratcliffe and Republicans of releasing Russian disinformation.
Ratcliffe, however, said in a statement that their allegations are untrue.
“To be clear, this is not Russian disinformation and has not been assessed as such by the intelligence community. I’ll be briefing Congress on the sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained in the coming days,” he said to Fox News.