Devin Nunes Explains What He Did at the White House

Darin HammondMar 28, 2017

Nunes (R-Calif.), the committee chairman, raised eyebrows on Wednesday when he gave a press conference to say President Trump and his transition team were accidentally caught up in routine US surveillance of foreign targets.

After an uproar over the allegations and the fact that he briefed Trump first before members of his own committee, Nunes apologized on Thursday for the way he handled the information.

He wouldn't tell reporters who provided the intelligence reports and identified them only as people who had security clearances. In addition, multiple Trump campaign and administration officials, including National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, and foreign policy adviser Carter Page, resigned their posts after scandals related to their connections with Russian Federation.

Nunes pushed back on this reporting to CNN, saying "I was in a cab with staff and we dropped them off before I went to my meeting".

"No whistleblower I've ever heard of would set up a meeting on White House grounds with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee", the Washington Post's national security correspondent, Greg Miller, told CNN.

Nunes has not conveyed information about the documents to members of his committee, according to members who say he canceled today's committee meeting.

On Monday, a spokesman for Nunes said the information was given to the lawmaker somewhere on the White House grounds - but not inside the White House itself - by an unnamed source. "The Chairman is extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of USA citizens, and he began looking into this issue even before President Trump tweeted his assertion that (Trump Tower) had been wiretapped".

Republican Representative Devin Nunes has over the last week or so caused many to question whether Republicans in general - and Representative Nunes in particular - can impartially carry out an investigation into any ties that Donald Trump and his administration might have with Russian Federation.

"Representative Nunes must immediately resign from the House Intelligence Committee chairmanship", said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

At a press conference on Monday, Spicer said he didn't know what Nunes saw or what he said to Trump. That leak ended up forcing Mr. Flynn to resign last month.

Democrats, and some Republicans, have said Nunes' actions raised serious questions over whether his committee would be able to conduct an impartial investigation of Russian hacking, the USA election and any potential involvement by Trump associates. Nunes was clear this was legal, incidental collection.

"There are reasons to unmask names, I can tell you without question". "And given that the president's associates are the subject in part of the investigation, that's wholly inappropriate, and, unfortunately, I think it really impugns the credibility of the chairman in terms of his ability to conduct an independent investigation". That investigation is also looking into possible ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the grounds of the White House.

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