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Democrats’ rebuttal to GOP surveillance memo may be released this week, Schiff says

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The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that he expects his party’s rebuttal to a GOP memo on surveillance to be made public this week.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a Californian who crafted the document, said it would address the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling and issues regarding surveillance, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“We are negotiating with the FBI, and I think we are almost done,” Schiff said Tuesday night during an onstage interview at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, the Chronicle reported.

The Republicans’ memo was released three weeks ago, but the White House postponed the release of the Democrats’ rebuttal earlier this month, requesting that sensitive details be removed. 

Schiff asserted that the White House decision was likely motivated by political concerns.

“The White House has a different interest. I think their interest is in redacting anything that doesn’t reflect well on the White House,” Schiff told the Washington Times.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asks questions, as executives appear before the House Intelligence Committee to answer questions related to Russian use of social media to influence U.S. elections, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RC1111271800

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 1, 2017.

 (Reuters)

“The president had no concern over the GOP memo notwithstanding all the warnings from the FBI, the Justice Department, but we’re dealing with it responsibly and hope to get it out as soon as possible.”

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Trump won’t hand Biden the nuclear football. Here’s how the handoff will happen.

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When he is sworn in on Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden will get the nuclear “football” — an oddly shaped 45-pound briefcase that is always at the president’s command and control of the nation’s massive nuclear arsenal.

A military aide carrying the “football” remains physically close to the president, ready to carry out a well-rehearsed choreography of command and control.

Smithsonian Magazine reported that is it officially called the “president’s emergency satchel,” and is built around a “sturdy aluminum frame, encased in black leather.” But, the magazine noted, unlike in the movies, it does not have a big red button for launching a nuclear war.

However, for the first time, the outgoing president, Donald Trump, will not handoff the black leather case to the incoming president. Typically, the handoff of the football from the outgoing president to the newly sworn in president takes place at the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.

Since Trump is planning to be in Florida when Biden is sworn in, the handoff will happen differently. This is the first time in the nuclear age that a sitting president hasn’t attended his successor’s inauguration.

A U.S. official told NBC News that a military aide will accompany Trump to Florida with one of the footballs, and until 11:59:59 a.m, Wednesday, Jan. 20, Trump will retain sole authority to launch a nuclear strike. Trump being physically out of Washington will not affect his launch authority or access to the nuclear football, until noon. (There are multiple footballs that allow a president to launch a military strike while traveling.)

Another military aide with a second nuclear football will hand over that authority to Biden once he is sworn in, the official said, and the military aide with Trump will bring the football back to Washington.

The football for Biden will be on hand for him at noon on Wednesday.

A military aide carries the president’s nuclear football in his right hand as President Donald Trump returns to the White House on March 30, 2019.Olivier Douliery / AFP – Getty Images file

NBC News contributor and retired Admiral James Stavridis said at noon, the football with Biden will become the one that’s “activated” in the sense that U.S. Strategic Command would go to that one if something happened where it was needed.

“Right before he becomes president there’s a football in his vicinity [that] is activated,” Stavridis said of Biden.

The White House declined to comment, saying it is a security matter.

In a 2013 documentary by Discovery Channel, former Vice President Dick Cheney describes the moment, as it typically unfolds.

“The passing of the football occurs at high noon. Nobody says a word, but I knew what to look for,” he said. “So you’ve got the ceremony going down front, but … sort of behind one of the big pillars there in the front, these two guys are standing there in their uniform, and at the right moment he reaches over to hands it to the newly designated military aide. And he takes it from that moment on. The new president is the guy who’s in control of our nuclear assets.”

There were some unusual events surrounding the “football” under the different commanders-in-chief, presidential historian Michael Beschloss, also an NBC News contributor, noted.

“[The] location of football was an issue when JFK assassinated in Dallas, Reagan’s nuclear code card was accidentally thrown out at the hospital after he was shot in 1981, Clinton lost his nuclear code card for a few months in 2000,” he said.



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Theresa May BLASTS Boris Johnson as ‘moral failure’ in post-Brexit British values snub

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THERESA MAY has lashed out at Boris Johnson for his record as Prime Minister, accusing him of abandoning Britain’s “position of global moral leadership”.

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Brexit LIVE: Boris rages at EU's trade deal extension demand: 'You have reasonable time!'

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BORIS JOHNSON has issued a warning to the EU that the Brexit deal signed between the two sides last month must be ratified by February 28.

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