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The Latest: Trump says he’s in favor of releasing memo

January 31, 2018

President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House Republicans’ vote to release a classified memo on the Russia investigation (all times local):

11:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump has been overheard telling a Republican lawmaker he is “100 percent” in favor of releasing a classified memo on the Russia investigation.

The memo has sparked a political fight pitting Republicans against the FBI and the Department of Justice.

“Don’t worry,” the president can be heard telling South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan on the House floor after his first State of the Union address. “100 percent!”

Duncan had implored Trump to “release the memo.”

The White House had said earlier Tuesday it will conduct a legal and national security review before Trump decides whether to release the memo.

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4:30 p.m.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s second interview before the House intelligence committee has been delayed.

That’s according to two people familiar with the decision. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private committee deliberations.

Democratic and Republican members on the committee had said Bannon would be interviewed behind closed doors Wednesday. But one of the people familiar with the decision says it was premature to schedule a second interview because discussions with the White House over what Bannon can tell the committee have only just started.

Earlier this month, Bannon refused to answer questions about his time in the Trump administration at the direction of the White House counsel’s office. Bannon served on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He left the White House in August.

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11:15 a.m.

The White House says it’s unlikely that a classified memo on the Russia investigation written by the House intelligence committee will be released Tuesday.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on “Fox and Friends” that President Donald Trump’s legal and national security teams must review the document before any release.

She said Trump wants to stay focused on the State of the Union address he plans to deliver Tuesday night.

Republicans on the House intelligence committee voted Monday to release the four-page memo on the Russia investigation. The memo written by committee Republicans purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the investigation.

The memo could be released to the public by the end of the week. Sanders said a timetable hasn’t been set.

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10:15 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is defending a vote by Republicans on the House intelligence committee to release a classified memo on the Russia investigation.

The memo purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russia probe.

Ryan told reporters Tuesday that “there may have been malfeasance at the FBI by certain individuals.” He said there should be “transparency” on the issue.

The committee voted to release the four-page memo on Monday. It could become public in the next few days.

The memo has become a political flashpoint, with President Donald Trump and many Republicans pushing for its release and suggesting that some in the Justice Department and FBI have conspired against the president.

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1:30 a.m.

Republicans on the House intelligence committee have voted to release a classified memo that purports to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and the Justice Department in the Russia investigation.

The four-page memo Republicans voted to release Monday has become a political flashpoint, with President Donald Trump and many Republicans pushing for its release and suggesting that some in the Justice Department and FBI have conspired against the president.

The memo was written by Republicans on the committee, led by chairman Rep. Devin Nunes of California.

Republicans have said the memo reveals grave concerns about abuses of the government surveillance powers in the Russia investigation. Democrats have called it a selectively edited group of GOP talking points that attempt to distract from the committee’s own investigation into Russian meddling.

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