Nunes was on WH grounds day before announcing Trump surveillance info

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was on the White House grounds the day before he announced he had seen intelligence that showed members of President Trump’s transition team had been caught up in surveillance operations.

Nunes said he was on White House grounds, but not in the White House itself, for meetings “to confirm what I already knew,” and he noted no one in the White House knew he was there.

A spokesperson for Nunes told The Hill in a statement that the congressman “met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source.”

{mosads}Nunes declined to comment further because he didn’t want to “compromise sources and methods.”

The White House directed questions about the episode to Nunes. 

“We have been made aware through public reports that Chairman Nunes confirmed he was on the White House grounds on Tuesday and any questions concerning his meeting should be directed to the Chairman,” the White House said. 

Nunes shocked much of Washington last week when he told reporters that he had seen information that showed members of the Trump team had been surveilled during regular intelligence agency operations. He also said this information had been widely disseminated in intelligence circles.
The chairman then went to the White House to brief the president on his findings, leaving fellow committee members out of the loop.
His actions raised eyebrows for a few reasons.
Nunes made the announcement a day after FBI Director James Comey appeared before the panel and announced that he had no evidence to support Trump’s allegation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
Comey also confirmed the FBI has been investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia, which the intelligence community says meddled in the U.S. presidential election. 
Nunes at that hearing said Comey’s statements had put a cloud over the White House. 
The chairman shared his findings with reporters and the White House without notifying Democrats on his panel of what he had seen. Nunes apologized for this a day later. 
Democrats have questioned, given his actions, whether he can remain independent during the Intelligence Committee’s own investigation of Russian meddling.
Still unknown is who Nunes’s source was and whether he was doing the White House’s bidding in saying the transition team has been surveilled. 
Nunes said last week that the surveillance was not related to Russia and that the Trump officials had been caught up in legal snooping.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Nunes was with a staff member at the White House when he reviewed the intelligence. A spokesman said the intelligence could not have been taken to the House. 

“The information comprised executive branch documents that have not been provided to Congress,” a Nunes spokesman said. “Because of classification rules, the source could not simply put the documents in a backpack and walk them over to the House Intelligence Committee space. The White House grounds was the best location to safeguard the proper chain of custody and classification of these documents, so the Chairman could view them in a legal way.”

Updated at 1:10 p.m.

Tags Barack Obama
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video