Schiff: Nunes ‘blindsided’ me on Trump intel

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden administration open to restarting nuclear talks with Iran Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward House Democrats renew push for checks on presidential pardons MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday continued to criticize House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes's (R-Calif.) decision to discuss claims of surveillance on President Trump’s transition team without first consulting the committee.

“[I was] certainly blindsided, but mostly just mystified,” Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, said on ABC’s “The View."

"We can’t have our chair acting as a surrogate for the administration," Schiff continued. “He has to either have the surrogate role or the chairman role, but he can’t do both."


Democrats have slammed Nunes after he said Wednesday that the U.S. intelligence community had incidentally collected information on members of Trump’s transition team and trekked to the White House to personally tell Trump.

Nunes told reporters that the collected information didn't relate to Russia, and said he believed the information was obtained legally.

Critics accused Nunes, who worked on Trump's transition team, of attempting to offer cover for the president following his baseless claim on Twitter early this month that former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe US is ripe for climate-friendly diets Obama says he once broke a classmate's nose for calling him a racial slur Tanden's path to confirmation looks increasingly untenable MORE had wiretapped Trump Tower.

Nunes said Thursday he regretted informing Trump and the media of the surveillance information without updating members of his panel first.

“At the end of the day, sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you don’t,” he told reporters, noting he could not show the committee information that was given by a source.

Nunes purportedly apologized to House Intelligence Committee Democrats early Thursday for going public with his knowledge without updating them first.

Schiff called Nunes’s actions a “complete head-scratcher” due to probes of Russia's intervention in the 2016 presidential election.

“Here we’re trying to conduct a credible investigation into a variety of allegations involving Russian hacking of our elections, including whether there were Trump campaign associates who colluded in some way with the Russians,” he said.

“What concerns me is you know, we need to do a real investigation of this. And we need to do it credibly, we need to do it in a nonpartisan way.”