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President Trump and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray.
President Trump and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

After the release of a classified Republican memo and another early-morning Twitter slam from President Trump, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray offered his employees a strong show of support Friday — and made clear that he has no plans to step down.

“You’ve all been through a lot in these past nine months and I know it’s often been unsettling, to say the least,” he said in a video message.

“Talk is cheap,” he said. “The work you do is what will endure.”

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(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

K.T. McFarland, a former White House official whose nomination to be ambassador to Singapore was blocked in the Senate amid questions about her Russia ties, withdrew from consideration for the post on Friday.

President Trump in a statement said he was “disappointed” by the withdrawal of McFarland, who’d been a national security aide, and blamed Democrats for opposing her confirmation.  

“Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post,” Trump said.

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While congressional Republicans were split over the decision to release the GOP memo on FBI surveillance Friday, Democrats lambasted what they view as a partisan effort to undermine the Justice Department and its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The decision from President Trump to give the green light to the memo was not surprising. A senior administration official said on Thursday that he would approve the memo’s release.

Trump, speaking with reporters at the White House at midday, confirmed he had declassified the memo and said it was in Congress’ hands.

“I think it’s terrible,” he said, apparently referring to the memo’s contents. “I think it’s a disgrace whats going on in this country.”

The impending release of a classified memo about FBI surveillance of a former Trump advisor is further dividing Republicans, who now find themselves in the unusual position of bucking the nation’s top law enforcement agency to stand by President Trump in what could prove to be a risky political gambit.

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