Tags: devin nunes | incidental | trump | calls | intercepted

Devin Nunes: 'Incidental' Trump Calls Intercepted, Names Spilled

Image: Devin Nunes: 'Incidental' Trump Calls Intercepted, Names Spilled

Rep. Devin Nunes leaves White House on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 11:55 AM

Rep. Devin Nunes said Wednesday there was "incidental" surveillance that targeted foreigners whose calls from President Donald Trump's transition team may have been intercepted, a revelation giving some cover to White House claims of being "wiretapped."

Nunes is chair of the House Intelligence Committee and the California Republican's comments set off a round of criticism from Democrats, who said he was giving "political cover" to Trump, reported Reuters.

Nunes claimed that Trump associates appeared to have been "unmasked" in intelligence reports on ongoing surveillance investigations of foreign targets.

He claimed he learned from "a source" that those names had been widely shared among the agencies. Normally, names of Americans are "masked" or anonymous unless they became relevant to the investigation.

"What I've read bothers me, and I think it should bother the president himself and his team," Nunes told reporters after briefing Trump privately at the White House, according to the Boston Herald.

The White House seized on Nunes comments.

Trump said he "very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found," adding that he felt "somewhat" vindicated for charges he leveled against former President Barack Obama about "wiretapping" Trump Tower.

"There's a lot of questions that I think his statement raises, and that I hope we can get to the bottom of," said White House press secretary Sean Spicer, per the Herald.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, charged that Nunes was trying to cozy up to the White House with his news conference, adding that he as a committee member has not seen the evidence Nunes is referring to, said the New York Times.

Schiff said the fact that Trump associates could be identified in intelligence reports "does not indicate that there was any flaw in the procedures followed by the intelligence agencies," said the Times.

FBI Director James Comey testified before the committee on Monday that it was investigating whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow while Russia was interfering in the presidential election, according to CNN.

Comey also said there was "no information" to support Trump's claim that he was wiretapped under Obama's guidance.

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Rep. Devin Nunes said Wednesday there was "incidental" surveillance that targeted foreigners whose calls from President Donald Trump's transition team may have been intercepted, a revelation giving some cover to White House claims of being "wiretapped."
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Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 11:55 AM
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