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Trump Overhead Saying Will Release Russia-Probe Memo


U.S. President Donald Trump claps during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on January 30.

President Donald Trump has been overheard telling a Republican lawmaker that he was "100 percent" in favor of publicly releasing a classified intelligence memo on the investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Trump made the remark to Republican Representative Jeff Duncan on the floor of House of Representatives late on January 30 after giving his State of the Union speech.

A television camera from C-Span picked up the conversation as Duncan urged Trump to "release the memo."

"Oh yeah, don't worry," Trump told Duncan. "100 percent."

The White House had said before Trump's speech that it was still conducting a legal and national security review of the document.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters earlier on January 30 that Trump still had not been briefed on the contents of the memo.

The four-page memo was written by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Representative Devin Nunes, a close ally of Trump who has become a critic of the FBI and Justice Department as they have been investigating alleged Russian meddling.

Republicans on the committee on January 29 rejected opposition from the Justice Department and voted to release the memo.

Republicans have said the memo shows the improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russia investigation.

Democrats say the memo is a selectively edited set of Republican talking points aimed at distracting attention from the committee's own investigation on Russia activity during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

If Trump decides to release the memo, it could be made public as early as the afternoon of January 31.

Based on reporting by C-Span and AP
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