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President-elect Donald Trump gives the thumbs up as he arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 in Bedminster, N.J.. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump claims contested GOP memo 'totally vindicates' him in Russia Probe


President Donald Trump claimed Saturday that a memo released by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee “totally vindicates” him in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The memo, released Friday with Trump's approval over the objections of top FBI and Department of Justice officials he appointed, accuses FBI investigators of using unverified information from a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer working for Hillary Clinton's campaign to obtain a warrant to surveil a former Trump adviser in the weeks before the 2016 election.

The FBI has publicly expressed concerns about the memo's accuracy, saying it contains "material omissions." Democrats say it is a misleading attempt to smear the credibility of the nation's law enforcement agencies and insulate Trump against special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of possible ties between his campaign and Russia.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the only Republican who viewed the classified FISA applications the memo was based on, have emphasized that the memo's contents have no bearing on Mueller's investigation. The alleged misconduct occurred months before Mueller was appointed and it is unclear whether any evidence obtained with the warrants is part of his probe.

"I also remain 100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not - in any way - discredit his investigation," Gowdy tweeted Friday.

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