House Intel Chair: Trump Transition Communications ‘Incidentally Collected’ by Intel Agencies
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 22, 2017
At a press conference this afternoon, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told reporters that he had just learned that personal communications from President Donald Trump may have been picked up by the intelligence community prior to the election.
He stated that he discovered this while reviewing intelligence reports, explaining that a number of Trump transition team members’ communications were “incidentally collected” and that it appears to be legal.
However, while noting that this information was collected legally under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, he said it was not due to the Russian probe and that transition members were “unmasked.” “I’m actually alarmed by it,” Nunes added. (It should be noted that Nunes was a member of the Trump transition team.)
The Republican Congressman stated that he would be travelling to the White House later today to brief the president on this new information, indicating that he hadn’t told him yet.
When asked if this means if Trump was being spied on, Nunes answered with the following:
Q (I think @EliLake): Was the intelligence community *spying* on Trump? Nunes: “I guess it all depends on the one definition of spying”
— Ali Rogin (@AliABCNews) March 22, 2017
Nunes also told reporters that he did not discuss this with the ranking member of the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), before the presser:
Nunes told @deirdrewalshcnn that he did NOT discuss his incidental collection findings today with Schiff, the ranking Dem
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 22, 2017
Over the past two and a half weeks, the White House has not provided evidence to back up Trump’s claims that he was wiretapped at Trump Tower by former President Barack Obama prior to the election. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees, as well as FBI Director James Comey, have all rebutted those tweets.
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
[image via screengrab]
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