NRCC claims Obama surveillance of Trump 'confirmed'
© Greg Nash

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is claiming that allegations that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWhy payroll tax cut opponents may want to reconsider Michelle Obama, Sanders, Kasich to be featured on first night of Democratic convention: report Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' MORE ordered surveillance of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE were "confirmed" Wednesday by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

In an email to supporters on Thursday, the NRCC wrote that Obama was accused of surveilling Trump, as well as members of his transition team, leading with the subject line, "Confirmed: Obama spied on Trump."

"Former President Obama is accused of spying on Donald Trump in his final days in office," reads the email, which described it as "disturbing news."

"No other president has ever even been accused of spying on his successor."

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In fact, there has been no confirmation that Obama was spying on Trump, a charge the president first made earlier this month. 

Nunes on Wednesday said that he has seen intelligence showing that the intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of Trump's transition team during routine surveillance of foreign targets.

But the California Republican also noted that the intelligence gathering was not tied to investigations into Trump and his aides' potential ties to Russia, and said that he didn't know whether Trump was among those surveilled or whether Obama was aware of the collections.

Nunes briefed Trump on the matter Wednesday afternoon, a move that drew the ire of intelligence panel Democrats, who said that the chairman did not discuss the information with the committee.

Nunes apologized to committee Democrats on Thursday for going to the White House with the information first. His decision to do so led Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP chairmen hit back at accusation they are spreading disinformation with Biden probe Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package House Intelligence panel opens probe into DHS's involvement in response to protests MORE (D-Calif.), the panel's ranking member, to suggest Nunes appeared to be acting more as a member of Trump's team than as the head of an independent investigatory arm of Congress. 

Trump on Wednesday said he felt "somewhat" vindicated by what Nunes has revealed, which led some observers to wonder whether that was the aim of the House Intelligence Committee chief.

Trump's fundraising machine, like the NRCC, has used the Nunes claims to argue that Trump's initial claims about Obama were correct.