Trump seized on what memo could mean even before reading it

Trump told allies he believed the memo would reinforce his belief that accusations of collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian officials were false and part of the conspiracy to discredit his victory. And the president signaled that he would approve the memo’s public disclosure if the House committee voted to pursue that course.

Several aides cautioned that the memo did not contain convincing evidence of a conspiracy, while others urged him to black out sections on intelligence-gathering methods, according to a White House official. Other advisers, inside and outside the West Wing, questioned why his administration had allowed the memo to become the dominant talking point during the week when he gave his first State of the Union address, overshadowing the well-received address.

But those worries, as well as fears that the disclosure could lead to retaliatory leaks from the Justice Department, did not hold sway in the Oval Office. Trump made clear to aides he was intent on seeing the memo released as soon as possible.