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Trump and Nunes, no shining examples of honesty, want us to take them at their word on the memo

Trump and Nunes, no shining examples of honesty, want us to take them at their word on the memo
Speaking about the recently released memo on Friday, President Trump said, "A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that." (Jabin Botsford / Washington Post)

To the editor: I'm at a loss as to whom to believe. ("Controversial Republican memo alleges FBI abuses during 2016 campaign but is no smoking gun," Feb. 2)

Do I believe President Trump, who says the FBI's conduct in conducting its counterintelligence investigation was a "disgrace"? The same president who said his tax cut was the biggest ever (way off) or who said that his inaugural crowd was the biggest and his State of the Union address was watched by the largest audience ever? Who said that he loved Puerto Rico on the same day that the Federal Emergency Management Agency cut off food and water aid? Who claimed there was "substantial evidence of voter fraud" in 2016?

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Do I believe House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), who refuses to disclose if the White House helped him draft his staff's memo and refuses to allow the release of the Democratic response?

Or do I believe the FBI and the Department of Justice? To borrow from another fake king, "it's a puzzlement."

Ken Goldman, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: I recently read the memo by Nunes' staff in full, and I didn't see anything that looked worthy of continued classification or of being redacted.

I would like FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to tell us what parts of the memo they believe should have been classified. I would also like them to explain what parts are inaccurate.

It seems that both, plus others who didn't want the memo to see the light of day, were simply trying to cover up a very embarrassing act of FBI political partisanship.

P.J. Gendell, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: The purpose of releasing the Nunes memo is made clear by the events that take place routinely in our increasingly polarized political system. That purpose is to vanquish the enemy and to tar him with the biggest brush that can be found.

The best defense is a good offense — that adage from American football says everything to me about what purpose this memo serves. It is a "big league" play, one of the few in Trump's playbook.

It goes like this: You defend yourself not by pointing out the weakness of your opponent, but rather by attacking to achieve maximum blunt-force trauma. In the arena of politics, national leadership and international diplomacy, it's a tactic that seems to have no regard for the consequences to anyone or any institution — except, of course, to the president.

John Pierson, Pasadena

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