Trump and the Memo

Some very interesting reporting from WaPo as to when Trump really knew what was in the memo:
‘Never any hesitation’: Trump was quickly persuaded to support memo’s release

The president did not actually see the memo — written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Nunes’s staff — until Wednesday afternoon, following the committee’s Monday vote to initiate its release, officials said. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly marched the document into the Oval Office so that he and Trump could briefly discuss it before the president’s meeting with regional reporters.

The president was then left alone to read the memo in its entirety.

A White House official said Kelly returned a few hours later and shared with the president his opinion: that releasing the memo would not risk national security but that the document was not as compelling as some of its advocates had promised Trump.

Trump’s tweet this morning would seem to corroborate this part of the report:

Trump told aides and confidants he believed the memo would vindicate his claim early last year that the expansive Russia investigation overseen by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was a “witch hunt.” He had long expressed frustration, both publicly and privately, with his Department of Justice and, specifically, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is supervising Mueller’s work.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    So, if he read it–and the jury’s out on that, or at least my jury of one is–then he either didn’t comprehend it, or he called Sean Hannity, who told him it vindicated him.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    trump read it? The man can’t read the back panel of a Fruit Loops box.

  3. CSK says:


    Which is why I said my jury was out on that question.