President Donald Trump on Friday authorized the release of a memo drafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee that they say offers proof that federal law enforcement abused surveillance powers while pursuing an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
Before he did so, Trump took to Twitter to attack the leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice — including those he appointed — and accuse them of anti-Trump bias in favor of Democrats.
This didn’t sit well with Republican Senator John McCain.
The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. https://t.co/6dsbcBIla6
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) February 2, 2018
McCain released a statement in response to Trump’s conclusions in which he confirmed that “the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy.”
McCain said that, “while we have no evidence that these efforts affected the outcome of our election, I fear they succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another.”
Then he condemned Trump’s repeated attacks undermining the FBI and the Department of Justice.
“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s,” McCain said. “The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows.”
“If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him,” he continued.
McCain isn’t the first high-profile Republican lawmaker to distance himself from the erratic and dangerous behavior coming from the White House.
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said that the controversial Republican memo should not impact special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian involvement in the election with Trump campaign support.
“This memo is not an indictment of the FBI or the Justice Department. It does not impugn the Mueller investigation,” Ryan said.
That said, Ryan supported the release of the Republican memo, as well as another memo drafted by Democrats on the Committee.