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House Intel Republicans to build a wall separating GOP, Dem staffers: report

House Intel Republicans to build a wall separating GOP, Dem staffers: report
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Tensions between Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have reportedly become so hostile that GOP members of the committee are planning to build a literal wall separating the two parties’ staffers.

The partition is expected to be constructed this spring in the committee’s secure spaces, according to CBS News.

Some Republican members of the committee said they were unaware of the plans for the wall. Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayOvernight Cybersecurity: US, UK blame Russia for 'notPetya' attack | Bannon refuses to answer questions not pre-approved by White House | 'Hack the Air Force' yields 100 vulnerabilities Bannon interviewed by Mueller in past week: report Bannon refuses to answer questions not pre-approved by the White House MORE (R-Texas) suggested that the idea came from Chairman Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesFive key takeaways from the Russian indictments Shepard Smith: New Mueller indictments prove Russia probe is 'opposite of a hoax' Schiff: 'We're very close to reaching an agreement' with FBI on countermemo MORE (R-Calif.)

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"I'm not part of that decision," Conaway told CBS. "You've got to talk to Devin. I don't know what they're trying to do one way or the other."

Rep. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyFlorida House Republican won’t seek reelection Panel mulls contempt if Bannon skips Thursday hearing: report Overnight Cybersecurity: Pence says intel community concluded Russia didn't impact 2016 outcome | Dems propose B in election security grants | FTC nominees promise focus on data breaches MORE (R-Fla.) told CBS that the relationship and trust between Republicans and Democrats on the committee is “poison,” but strongly denied knowing about the wall.

“I swear to God I didn’t know that,” he said.

Rooney added that bipartisanship is “gone” from the committee, and told CBS that part of the reason for rising tensions is because the Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating GOP staff over concerns about alleged leaks. He told CBS that the probe is investigating the “entire” staff, even “the woman up front that answers the phone.”

The report about the wall comes amid the increasingly volatile environment over the released GOP surveillance memo and the still unreleased Democratic countermemo. Nunes and the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP strategist confronts ex-Trump staffer: ‘I’m sick of you guys making excuses for him’ Shepard Smith goes after Trump for not condemning Russia in tweets Trump: Why didn't Obama 'do something about Russian meddling?' MORE (Calif.), have been publicly exchanging jabs over the release of the controversial documents.

The GOP memo, released publicly earlier this month, alleges surveillance abuses in the FBI and Justice Department, accusing them of anti-Trump bias. Nunes has said that the committee’s Republicans are still investigating and plan to put together more memos.

The White House is currently reviewing the Democratic countermemo, which reportedly offers evidence disputing claims in the GOP memo and will decide by the end of the week whether to block its release.

Also plaguing the committee is concerns over leadership, as several Democrats have called for Nunes’s removal over the memo controversy, and delays in the committee's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.

It was reported that former White House chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonIt’s time for conservatives to retire the term ‘alt-right’   Kurtz sees media forfeiting credibility in war with Trump Bannon wanted Trump to keep Yellen as Fed chair: report MORE will not appear before the committee for an interview despite a subpoena issued earlier this year, as he and the panel negotiate the scope of his testimony.

-Updated 6:38 p.m.