Trump officials now fear FBI smear memo will be embarrassing failure


Republican Rep. Devin Nunes' "gotcha" memo just might blow up in all their faces.

Donald Trump thinks the Republican smear memo is just the kill shot he needs to get rid of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but many of his aides fear it will backfire.

For weeks, Republicans have been hyping a classified "report" they wrote hoping it will discredit the investigation into the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia — a report the FBI has warned is inaccurate and dangerous to release.

Trump has already signaled he intends to allow the fraudulent document to be released as early as Friday, but now some his closest aides fear that even the misleading, cherry-picked memo won't deliver the goods.

"There are a number of people in the White House who are fairly underwhelmed, and there's internal anxiety about whether it's worth angering the FBI director and intelligence community by releasing this information," Axios reports.

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan went further on MSNBC, telling host Nicolle Wallace that "more people in the administration than you might be aware of," who are "familiar with the contents of this memo," say that it isn't the explosive smoking gun that House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes has been claiming.

The debate within the White House now, according to Swan, is where there is "a great political value to maddening the FBI, maddening the intelligence community, making all of these enemies there, and releasing this document that, ultimately, that is not the slam dunk that it is."

Nunes has burned the intelligence community, the White House, and the American people before with half-baked claims in service to covering up for Trump, but that hasn't kept Trump and the Republicans from betting big on the contents of this memo.

Those stakes became much higher when the FBI publicly rebuked Republicans over "grave concerns" about the memo's accuracy and the threat it poses to national security. To have it blow up in Trump's face now would be a major embarrassment.

The question would then become, will Trump follow through with his plan to oust Rosenstein anyway?

So far, Republicans have shown little of the courage needed to address the constitutional crisis that Trump is hell-bent on creating, but a debacle this large would demand action.