White House to release Republican memo despite FBI concerns

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - A memo drafted by congressional Republicans alleging bias against President Donald Trump at the FBI will be released on Friday, a senior White House official said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a rare rebuke on Wednesday to the president and his fellow Republicans in Congress who are pushing to release the four-page document crafted by Republican members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee.

"The FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it," the FBI said in a statement. "As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."

RELATED: Key Trump officials, advisers of note in the Russia probes

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Key Trump officials, advisers of note in the Russia probe
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Key Trump officials, advisers of note in the Russia probe

Tom Barrack

The close friend to Donald Trump and CEO of private equity firm Colony Capital recommended that Trump bring in Paul Manafort for his presidential campaign.

R. James Woolsey

Woolsey, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has cooperated with Mueller's investigation and worked with Michael Flynn and was present at a meeting where they discussed removing the controversial Turkish Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen from US soil. 

(Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The former senior Trump campaign official and White House adviser was present and crucial during the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey.

The former head of the Trump transition team following the 2016 election has said previously that he believes he was fired due to his opposing the hiring of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama joined Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser in February 2016. Sessions was nominated to be U.S. attorney general by President Trump and was then confirmed by the Senate. Reports then emerged that Sessions had spoken twice with Sergey Kislyak while he was senator -- a fact that he left out of his Senate hearing testimony. Instead, he said in writing that he had not communicated with any Russian officials during the campaign season. Sessions defended himself saying he had spoken with Kislyak specifically in a senate capacity.

Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort signed on as Donald Trump's campaign manager in March 2016. A longtime Republican strategist and beltway operative, Manafort had previously served as an adviser to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich -- a pro-Russia leader who was violently ousted in 2014. Manafort resigned from his campaign position in August 2016 amid questions over his lobbying history in Ukraine for an administration supportive of Russia. The former campaign manager reportedly remained in Trump's circle during the post-election transition period.

Michael Flynn

Gen. Michael Flynn was named President Trump's national security adviser in November of 2016. Flynn reportedly met and spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, at one point discussing sanctions. Flynn originally told Vice President Pence he did not discuss sanctions -- a point the Department of Justice said made the national security adviser subject to blackmail. Flynn resigned from his position in February.

Donald Trump

2016 election winner Donald Trump is at the center of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's handlings.

Sam Clovis

Clovis, a former member of the Trump campaign, arrives on at the U.S. Capitol December 12, 2017 to appear before a closed meeting of the House Intelligence Committee. Clovis worked with George Papadopoulos, a former Donald Trump campaign foreign policy advisor who struck a plea deal on charges of lying to the FBI.

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Roger Stone

Stone is a longtime Republican political consultant who served as a campaign adviser to Trump who continued to talk with the then-GOP candidate after stepping away from his adviser role. Stone claimed last year that he had knowledge of the planned WikiLeaks release of emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Stone recently admitted to speaking via direct message with "Guccifer 2.0" -- an online entity U.S. officials believe is tied to Russia. Stone says the correspondence was “completely innocuous.”

Carter Page

Page worked for Merrill Lynch as an investment banker out of their Moscow office for three years before joining Trump's campaign as a foreign policy adviser. During his time with Merrill Lynch, Page advised transactions for two major Russian entities. Page has called Washington "hypocritical" for focusing on corruption and democratization in addressing U.S. relations with Russia. While Page is someone Trump camp has seemingly tried to distance itself from, Page recently said he has made frequent visits to Trump Tower.

J.D. Gordon

Before Gordon joined the Trump campaign as a national security adviser in March 2016, he served as a Pentagon spokesman from 2005 through 2009. Like others involved in Trump-Russia allegations, Gordon met with ambassador Kislyak in July at the Republican National Convention, but has since denied any wrongdoing in their conversation. He advocated for and worked to revise the RNC language on and position toward Ukraine relations, so it was more friendly toward Russia's dealings in the country.

Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo (L)

Caputo waves goodbye to reporters after he testified before the House Intelligence Committee during a closed-door session at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Caputo resigned from being a Trump campaign communications advisor after appearing to celebrate the firing of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Denying any contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, Caputo did live in Moscow during the 1990s, served as an adviser to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and did pro-Putin public relations work for the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Stephen Miller, White House Senior Advisor for Policy

Jason Miller
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer
Eric Trump
Donald Trump Jr.
Ivanka Trump
White House Senior adviser Jared Kushner
Executive assistant to Donald Trump Rhona Graff
White House Communications Director Hope Hicks
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski
US Vice President Mike Pence
Katrina Pierson
K.T. McFarland
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci
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Justice Department officials have also said releasing the memo could jeopardize classified information.

The administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday night, did not elaborate on the expected release.

The fight over the memo reflects a wider battle over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to help him win the 2016 presidential election. Russia and Trump have both denied the allegations. Mueller's investigation and the FBI probe that preceded it have hung over Trump's year-old presidency.

Democrats say the four-page memo is misleading, based on a selective use of highly classified data and intended to discredit Mueller's investigation.

Representative Devin Nunes, the intelligence committee's Republican chairman who commissioned the document, dismissed the objections to its release as "spurious."

SEE ALSO: FBI expresses 'grave concerns' over Republican memo's accuracy

In a bid to block its release, Representative Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee's top Democrat, said late on Wednesday he had discovered that Nunes had sent the White House a version of the memo that was "materially altered" and not what the committee voted to release on Monday. It was not clear if the panel's Republicans would hold a new vote on the altered document.

The memo accuses the FBI and Justice Department of misleading a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge in March as they sought to extend an eavesdropping warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, four sources familiar with it have said.

They said memo contends that the FBI and Justice Department failed to tell the judge that some of the information used to justify the warrant included portions of a dossier of Trump-Russia contacts that was opposition research paid for by Democrats.

RELATED: President Trump and Republicans attend retreat at Camp David

15 PHOTOS
President Trump and Republicans attend retreat at Camp David
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President Trump and Republicans attend retreat at Camp David
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives with members of the government and Republican leaders to speak to the media following the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway walks in ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence speaking to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to speak to the media following the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after speaking to the media after the Congressional Republican Leadership retreat at Camp David, Maryland, U.S., January 6, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
THURMONT, MD - JANUARY 6: (AFP OUT) Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks to the media after participating in meetings with President Donald Trump at Camp David on January 6, 2018 in Thurmont, Maryland. President Trump met with staff, members of his Cabinet and Republican members of Congress to discuss the Republican legislative agenda for 2018. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
THURMONT, MD - JANUARY 6: (AFP OUT) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after participating in meetings with President Donald Trump at Camp David on January 6, 2018 in Thurmont, Maryland. President Trump met with staff, members of his Cabinet and Republican members of Congress to discuss the Republican legislative agenda for 2018. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
THURMONT, MD - JANUARY 6: (AFP OUT) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens as Republicans take turns speaking to the media at Camp David on January 6, 2018 in Thurmont, Maryland. President Trump met with staff, members of his Cabinet and Republican members of Congress to discuss the Republican legislative agenda for 2018. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
THURMONT, MD - JANUARY 6: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press after holding meetings at Camp David on January 6, 2018 in Thurmont, Maryland. President Trump met with staff, members of his Cabinet and Republican members of Congress to discuss the Republican legislative agenda for 2018. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, January 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump, alongside Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (C) and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L), speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers and members of his Cabinet at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, January 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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However, the sources said the memo does not mention that the request to extend surveillance on Page, which began before Trump took office, also relied on other highly classified information and that U.S. agencies had confirmed excerpts from the dossier included in the request.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 campaign using hacking and propaganda to attempt to tilt the race in favor of Trump. The president has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt" and "hoax."

(Reporting by Steve Holland, Warren Strobel, Jonathan Landay; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Will Dunham)

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