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House Intelligence chair discloses classified intel in clumsy effort to validate Trump

House Intelligence chair discloses classified intel in clumsy effort to validate Trump

Trump has said he feels vindicated after many questioned his claims that Obama ordered surveillance on him. That accusation has been mostly dismissed. Former president Barack Obama had previously issued a statement through a spokesman categorically denying that he had ordered surveillance on Trump or any US citizen, calling any suggestion otherwise "simply false".

Nunes said he had seen dozens of intercepted communications from November, December, and January between the Trump transition team and foreign targets who were under USA surveillance by legally obtained security-court orders. "All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on televisions". Trump's campaign is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible collusion with Russian Federation during last year's election.

The House Intelligence chairman has apologized to his members for not informing them of new information about government surveillance of President Trump and his campaign team before sharing it with the press and the president.

Before heading into the panel's meeting, Nunes said his disclosures and a subsequent briefing he gave Trump at the White House were "a judgment call".

Nunes can't be working to prop up President Trump's baseless claims while he pretends to be impartial about an investigation that let's face it, he never should have been in charge of in the first place given his own position on the Trump transition team - the very team his panel is supposed to be investigating. Nunes has since apologized to committee members.

"While I can't go into. any of the contents of the evidence we've been presented", he said, "I think that's a fair assessment at this point".

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The revelation comes just after a bombshell committee hearing Tuesday where FBI Director James Comey told Congress there was "no information" that Donald Trump had been wiretapped. In intelligence jargon, that means the Trump officials were not the target of surveillance - that what they said was "incidentally" picked up by surveillance intentionally targeting someone else. "The FBI and the Justice Department have no information to support" Trump's wiretap assertions, Comey said. Questions about his campaign's ties to Russia have been compounded by US intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered with the election to help Trump triumph over Hillary Clinton, along with disclosures about his aides' contacts with a Russian official.

FBI director James Comey on Monday told a hearing of Mr Nunes' committee that his agency was conducting a criminal investigation of potential links between Trump associates and Russia's attempts to influence last year's USA election to benefit Mr Trump. "Do you think the House Intelligence Committee can work in a bipartisan fashion, and do you think this investigation should now move to either a select committee or an independent investigator?"

Schiff slammed the chairman for acting as if he were a "surrogate of the White House".

The communications were not linked to Russian Federation, he said, adding that they appeared to have "little or no intelligence value".

The California congressman stressed that the surveillance was not related to Russia or an investigation of illicit Russian activities.

Lowenthal believes Democrats will be wary of dealing with him further if they suspect Nunes, a staunch Trump ally on Capitol Hill, might have divided loyalties.