Trump Won't Display Obama's Portrait In WH, Rejecting Tradition

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday asked for the declassification of Obama administration officials who sought to unmask people associated with the Trump campaign of transition team around the time of the 2016 presidential election. And if Trump wins a second term in November, it could be 2025 before Obama returns to the White House to see his portrait displayed among every US president from George Washington to Bush.

Republican and Democrat presidents have jointly participated in this ceremony for decades, even when they criticized each other or had major political differences. "And we can not allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate". Most recently, he sought to drop the prosecution of Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January 2017 about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

Grenell has in recent weeks declassified a list of Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of Flynn and a portion of an email that Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, sent to herself just before Trump was sworn into office.

Attorney General William Barr has his own investigation ongoing into the origins of the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. Barr said Monday he does not expect Durham's investigation will lead to a criminal investigation of Obama or Biden.

"Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others", he added.

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He added: "This can not be and it will not be a tit-for-tat exercise. He's done his job, we got the Mueller report, we're going to do this by October", he said.

The comments came after Trump and members of the Republican party and White House staff began pushing the idea that there was criminal activity at the highest levels behind the 2016-18 counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump's election campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Mr Trump's cries of scandal come as the president and many top Republicans have used increasingly harsh rhetoric against Mr Biden- hoping to conjure doubt in voters' minds as the election season begins to heat up. That American was revealed to be Flynn. But umaskings are a common procedure, done when officials believe receiving the concealed identity is vital to understanding the intelligence report.

Separately, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), asked Grenell in a letter to Grenell on Tuesday (pdf) for information surrounding all unmasking requests of the Trump campaign made by Obama administration officials dating back as early as January 2016.

"More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so numerous folks in charge know what they're doing", Mr Obama said during a virtual commencement speech to high school seniors last Saturday.

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