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Trump authorises release of classified memo alleging misconduct by FBI

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Trump authorises release of classified memo alleging misconduct by FBI

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REUTERS
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Donald Trump has authorised the release of a secret memo which alleges misconduct by FBI officials that are investigating his 2016 presidential campaign.

The release ramps up the Trump administration’s fight to delegitimize claims that the billionaire's campaign team conspired with the Russian government to win the election.

The House Intelligence Committee made the memo public despite opposition from intelligence and law enforcement officials.

The memo alleges that government officials favoured Democrats over Republicans and federal law enforcement abused their authority when they requested permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

"I think it's terrible. It's a disgrace what's going on in this country," Trump told reporters on Friday. "When you look at that, and you see that, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that."

Earlier today, Trump took to Twitter to argue that senior officials in the FBI and Justice Department were biased.

Both the FBI and Justice Department have denied wrongdoing and opposed the public release of the memo.

Republican senator John McCain said the memo’s release served only to distract Americans from the threat of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

"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 lens of politics and manufacturing political sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections since May 2017. He is also thought to be examining if President Donald Trump's interference with the Russia probe constitutes an obstruction of justice.