Republican Lawmaker: Trump Transition Team Communication Picked Up, But Legally

Republican Lawmaker: Trump Transition Team Communication Picked Up, But Legally

In a news conference, Schiff expressed deep concern that committee members were not told by Nunes about the revelations before he briefed the press or went to the White House.

A row has broken out among members of the House Intelligence Committee over the investigation into allegations that Donald Trump was wiretapped during the presidential election.

But Nunes himself said the president was wrong.

Representative Nunes said the intercepted communications did not appear to be related to an ongoing FBI investigation into President Trump's ties with Russian Federation.

Nunes said he believed the intelligence collection was done legally, with the monitored material then "widely disseminated" in intelligence reports.

Still, the White House immediately seized on his statements in what appeared to be a coordinated public display.

Rep. Louie Gohmert was among the lawmakers spotted at the White House as part of Trump's blitz to turn enough votes to save the plan.

"This could be a lot of theatrics", said Speier, also a member of the House intelligence committee.

"I have to hope this is not part of a broader campaign from the White House to deflect from the director's testimony this week", Schiff said.

"In my view, the existence or non-existence of a FISA warrant that the Congressman revealed during his press conferences today is in itself a classified fact", Moss said.

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"I don't think the administration is aware of this, so I'm going to go over there and tell them what I know", Nunes said before heading to the White House to talk with Trump.

Does Trump feel vindicated, a reporter asked him?

Just two days ago at a House Intelligence Committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey confirmed an open investigation into Trump's ties with Russian Federation, during which Gowdy used that time to grill Comey on leaks of classified information to journalists. We know that the Russians interfered with our election and they did not achieve in affecting the outcome but we know that for sure.

Next came Schiff, who accused Nunes of compromising their investigation, then went further than he previously had in describing the possibility that political coordination took place between Trump aides and the Kremlin.

"If you have a chairman who is interacting with the White House, sharing information with the White House, when the people around the White House are the subject of the investigation and doing it before sharing it with the committee, it puts a profound doubt over whether that can be done credibly", Schiff said. He did not outline that evidence.

The California lawmaker left the door wide open when asked if the surveillance he was referring to was politically motivated.

The chairman said he became concerned while reading documents that indicated Trump's communications and those of other Trump associates were swept up inadvertently, but in a manner that identified them. "They all said it hasn't happened and he's doubling down". It is yet another reminder that the federal government's various law enforcement agencies continue to conduct warrantless mass surveillance on millions of innocent Americans.

Schiff, in his response, said that so-called incidental collection doesn't necessarily mean that American intelligence hears a USA person talking on the phone to a foreign target.

Schiff disputed Nunes' suggestions that there was improper "unmasking".

Despite saying he didn't want to get ahead of Nunes' briefing, Spicer called the findings "a startling revelation" and "raises serious questions".