Trump’s decision to declassify all Russian collusion, Clinton email probe docs triggers heated debate

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Following President Donald Trump’s announcement that he has authorized the declassification of all materials tied to the Obama-era Russian collusion probe as well as the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails via a private server, supporters and detractors battled it out online.

In a tweet Tuesday evening, a day after returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center where he was being treated for COVID-19, Trump surprised many by saying he had ordered the declassification and, apparently, the release of those documents some time ago.

Also, the president suggested that ranking officials in key government and intelligence agencies were dragging their feet carrying out his orders.

“All Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country. Act!!!” Trump wrote.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313650640699224069

The president’s call led to some fierce back-and-forth on social media. Gen. Michael Hayden, who led the CIA under President George W. Bush, clashed with Richard Grenell, who served for a time as acting director of national intelligence under President Trump.

Grenell tweeted out a link to a Fox News report regarding John Ratcliffe, the current DNI, and the declassification of materials revealing that former CIA Director John Brennan, a frequent Trump critic, briefed then-President Barack Obama on an alleged “plan” by Clinton to saddle Trump with the ‘Russian collusion’ narrative “as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

Grenell wrote online that the Fox News story was “proof” that Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden “directed their administration to use the powers of government to attack” the 2016 Trump campaign and his transition team.

“The Susan Rice [Obama’s national security adviser] email to herself after the Oval Office meeting was part of the coverup,” Grenell noted further.

In response, Hayden — who has criticized Trump and has said he is supporting Biden — wrote, “You’re an a**hole. Really.”

That prompted Grenell to reply: “I see you don’t like to be exposed. And so you resort to name calling. Transparency isn’t political.”

Charlie Kirk, the co-founder of Turning Point USA, added online, “Let me get this straight: Hillary Clinton planned, financed, and executed the Russian hoax. The intel agencies knew about & briefed Obama on it…and on one seems to care. Where is Adam Schiff? Where is Rachel Maddow? This is a bombshell and they’re completely ignoring it.”

But Andrew S. Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment and a Trump critic, described the developments “total national security malpractice.”

“DNI Ratcliffe memo says Trump directed him to declassify unenlightening/unconvincing cherrypicked snippets of CIA docs to hype false claim that Russian interference was ‘hoax’ pushed by” Clinton and Brennan, ending the tweet with “#embarassment.”

Also, Garrett M. Graff, the director of Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity Program, mocked Trump and alluded to an altered mental state due to COVID-19 treatments.

Earlier, in response to a tweet from investigative journalist Paul Sperry, Trump noted that he had already authorized the declassification of all documents related to Clinton’s email server and ‘Russiagate.’

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!” Trump wrote.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1313640512025513984

“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany noted in a statement.

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Jon Dougherty

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