Intel Chairman – Trump Team Definitely Spied Upon, Names Unmasked, Info Spread

devin nunes


House Intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes said on Wednesday, reading from a prepared written statement, “While there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.”

He continued, “So first, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about US persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

He said, “Third, I have learned that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked. And fourth and finally, I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”

“The House Intelligence Committee will thoroughly investigate surveillance and its subsequent dissemination to determine a few things here that I want to read off:  Who was aware of it; why it was not disclosed to Congress; who requested and authorized the additional unmasking; whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates; or whether any laws, regulations or procedures were violated.”

Nunes said, “I’ve asked the Directors of FBI, NSA and CIA to expeditiously reply to my March 15th letter that you all received a couple of weeks ago and to provide a full account of these surveillance activities. I informed Speaker Ryan this morning of this new information and I will be going to the White House this afternoon to share what I know with the President and his team.”

After opening up the briefing to questions, Nunes noted that “the NSA has been very, very helpful… They partially complied with our request last week and I expect  them to, hopefully, get us more information by Friday. And I have spoke [sic] to Admiral Rogers about these concerns and he wants to comply as quickly as he can.” He’s asked, “and was the president also part of that incidental collection, his communications?” Nunes responded, “Yes.”

Nunes makes a point of stating that the motivation and direction behind the collection, whether it was incidental or intentional is not yet known but may be known as soon as this Friday. He said, “I think the NSA is going to comply, I am concerned, we don’t know yet if the FBI is going to comply. And I placed a call, I’m waiting to hopefully talk to Director Comey later today.”

He believes that, according to the information available at this time, the surveillance was done legally. Rep Nunes stated questions he has as to why there was so much unmasking and the dissemination list, who was on it and why was it “so far if it was such specific information about the Trump transition?” And it appears, to give you one piece of information that might be helpful, most of this occurred, from what I’ve seen, in November, December and January, during the transition.”

Nunes says, “I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the President-elect and his team were at least monitored and disseminated out in intelligence reporting channels.” He also states flatly, “The information that I have seen has nothing to do with Russia or the Russian investigation. So bluntly put, everything that I was able to view did not involve Russia, or any discussions with Russians or any Trump people or other Russians talk – none of it, so none of it has to do with Russia.”

He’s asks to characterize the information, replying that “It looks to me like it was all legally collected but it was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

He stated that the surveillance that he has seen had nothing to do with any criminal investigation, “it was normal incidental collection.”

He’s also asked later, after meeting with President Trump, if he can rule out senior White House officials being involved in the information collection activities against the Trump team. Nunes responded, “No, I cannot.”

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