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Trump: Republican memo vindicates me

PALM BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that a controversial memo attacking federal law enforcement written by congressional Republicans vindicates him in the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Trump’s embrace of the memo raised again the prospect that he could use it as justification to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting the investigation, or Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller.

Tweeting from his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump said the memo “totally vindicates” him but added “the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their (sic) was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction.” He called the investigation “an American disgrace.” The White House has said there will be no changes at the Justice Department as a result of the memo’s conclusions. The memo, written by Republicans on the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee chaired by Devin Nunes, argues that the federal investigation of potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia was a product of political bias against Trump at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department.

Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee, disagreed with Trump and said the memo has no impact on the Russia probe.

“Not to me, it doesn’t, and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it,” Gowdy said in a preview of an interview to be aired on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Gowdy, who said this week that he will not run for re-election in November, said the Russia investigation would exist regardless of a dossier that the memo says the FBI received from a source who was strongly biased against Trump. “So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier,” said Gowdy.

Trump approved the release of the formerly classified memo without redactions, despite objections from the FBI in a move that deepened tension between the White House and senior law enforcement that has existed since Trump took office.

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