Sen. John McCain blasted President Donald Trump on Friday for approving the release of the highly controversial GOP-Nunes memo, saying “if we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”
McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Forces Committee, called on Trump and other elected officials to stop looking at special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation through “the warped lens of politics.”
“In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy,” McCain said. “… 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.”
In a written statement released around the same time the memo was declassified, the Arizona Republican characterized the memo and its release as “partisan attacks” on the FBI and the Department of Justice.
The so-called attacks “serve no American interests,” he added — “no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.”
“Our nation’s elected officials, including the President, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows,” McCain said. “If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”
The release of the memo — spearheaded by Devin Nunes, R-California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — sent shockwaves through Washington on Friday as congressional Democrats and a smattering of Republicans decried it as a GOP-led effort to undermine the FBI’s investigation into Trump and Russia.
The memo alleges that the FBI abused its surveillance authority during an investigation into Carter Page, the President’s former foreign policy adviser.
Following the memo’s release, congressional Democrats called on the House Intelligence Committee to release their own party’s memo on the matter, which was produced by California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on that committee.