House looking at whether NSA collected lawmakers' communications

House looking at whether NSA collected lawmakers' communications
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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Wednesday his committee is looking into whether the intelligence community collected communications between Israeli officials and members of Congress.  

The move comes a day after the Wall Street Journal published a report that said the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on communications between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli officials, along with communcations by members of Congress. 


"The Committee has requested additional information from the [intelligence community] to determine which, if any, of these allegations are true, and whether the IC followed all applicable laws, rules, and procedures," he said in a statement. 

The report also said the NSA swept up conversations with members of Congress as Israeli officials lobbied lawmakers on the Iran nuclear deal and that White House officials were initially worried when they realized it was happening. 

However, the administration then decided to let the NSA decide what to share. 

"We didn't say, 'Do it,'" a senior U.S. official told the Journal. "We didn't say, 'Don't do it.'"

The NSA reportedly found Netanyahu and his aides leaking details of the negotiation, coordinating talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal and asked lawmakers how they could get their vote against the deal. 

Netanyahu spoke out against a potentially unsatisfactory nuclear deal during a speech to a joint session of Congress in March. Although he communicated with members of Congress about the speech in advance, the administration was allegedly surprised when it was announced. 

The report also said that the Obama administration decided to keep monitoring Netanyahu and Israel even as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other NATO heads of state were considered off limits.

The administration decided that monitoring Netanyahu served a "compelling national security purpose," according to the Journal, which cited unnamed current and former U.S. officials.