Classified House Intelligence Committee memo puts Trump and Wray at odds

The president and FBI head disagree on whether the memo accusing the Justice Department of political bias should be made public.
3:12 | 01/31/18

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Transcript for Classified House Intelligence Committee memo puts Trump and Wray at odds
Now, to the other breaking headline from Washington at this hour. The brewing showdown between the presidenand his new FBI director, his hand-picked director, now urging the president not to release a secret them romemo reportedly critical of the FBI. The president was overheard leaving the state of the union last night, telling a lawmaker he "100%" plans to release the memo. The FBI tonight saying it has grave concerns about the accuracy of the memo, and here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: It's a showdown between the president and the man he chose to lead the FBI. At issue? The controversial classified memo accusing the justice department of political bias. As he left his state of the union address last night, the president was caught on camera telling a Republican congressman that he'd allow the memo to be made public. Let's release the memo. Oh yeah, don't worry, 100%. Reporter: This morning, chief of staff John Kelly told fox News it will happen soon. Did you see it? I did. What do you think? It will be released here pretty quii think and the whole world can see it. Reporter: Hours later, the FBI issued an extraordinary statement directly challenging the president and his chief of staff, saying the FBI had been given only a limited chance to review the memo, and, quote, "We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy." The memo was written by Republicans on the house intelligence committee, chaired by California Republican Devin nunes, a close ally of president trump. Sources briefed on the memo tell ABC news, it accuses the justice department of acting inappropriately when it obtained a surveillance warrant for a former trump campaign adviser suspected of being a Russian agent. There may have been malfeasance by people at the FBI. Reporter: But Democrats on the intelligence committee say the Republican memo is misleading, because it cherry-picks the facts. Deputy attorney general Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher WRAY met with chief of staff Kelly at the white house earlier this week to urge that the memo not be relfased. It's highly unusual for the FBI to publicly contradict the white house, but WRAY made it clear in his confirmation hearing that he is willing to stand up to the president. You have to be willing to quit or be fired at a moment's notice in order to stand up for what you think is right. So, let's get to Jon Karl, live at the white house tonight. And Jon, we know that president trump fired former FBI director James Comey. He hand-picked the new director, wl Christopher WRAY. Now, this battle between the president and his new director. All this playing out in public. How is this good for the president to be at odds with an FBI director all over again? Reporter: It's not good, David. And people close to the president take WRAY at his word when it comes to what you heard him same at his confirmation hearing about being willing to resign. Now, there is no indication that WRAY would resign in this case, but the possibility of losing 2000 FBI directors in the course of one year, that would be troubling for the morale at the FBI, it would be politically de devastating and it would be unprecedented. Jon, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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