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House Intel Chairman: Trump Transition Team Under Surveillance During Obama Tenure

House Intel Chairman: Trump Transition Team Under Surveillance During Obama Tenure

“On numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

This story continues to develop, so we’ll be updating the post accordingly.

Amid President Trump’s claims the Obama administration “wiretapped” him prior to taking office, comes this little tidbit from the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

In a press conference Wednesday, Nunes confirmed, “on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

Nunes said the investigations do not appear to be related to Russia.

From Politico:

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under surveillance during the Obama administration following November’s election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the surveillance appears to have been legal, incidental collection and that it does not appear to have been related to concerns over collusion with Russia.

Nunes is going to the White House later Wednesday to brief the Trump administration on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources.”

As Professor Jacobson predicted weeks ago, it all depends on what your definition of “is” is.

It appears Rep. Nunes announced his findings first at the press conference earlier today. Ranking committee Democrats and the White House were all surprised by Nunes’ announcement.

And BOOM goes the dynamite:

Trump feels “somewhat” vindicated:

About those FISA warrants…

The DOJ? What DOJ?

Nunes is particularly concerned about the “unmasking” which must be ordered and specifically calls for “American A” to be explicitely named in intelligence collection

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When do we revolt? Are we really this stupid?

    Walker Evans in reply to JoAnne. | March 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    “Are we really this stupid?

    No. But they like to think we are. As for revolting … if that time comes, we’re ready. I hope it doesn’t come to that point.

    MattMusson in reply to JoAnne. | March 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Don’t you get it? We are all under incidental surveillance. All our calls, all our posts and all our financial dealings. Everything really is being stored in an NSA data center outside of Provo, Utah.

    I am not kidding.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to MattMusson. | March 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm

      100% Correct you are Matt.

      Anyone who has kept up with “real news” via independent sources (not the MSM), has known that for years now.

      It goes back at least to the Bush JR. years.

      OrangePeril in reply to MattMusson. | March 26, 2017 at 11:51 am

      And a certain Rep. Nunes was a vocal supporter or it. Maybe there is another Rep. Nunes in the House?


    We HAVE revolted: we marched Donald Trump into the White House.

    We must support him absolutely – and we must take down the GOPe – an corrupt group of hacks with NO base but a handful of rich donors.

    We just re-own the GOP. We do this by marching steadfast behind The Donald, and hacking away at the legs of the likes of Ryan and McConnell, Graham, McCain, etc.

      buckeyeminuteman in reply to | March 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      We thought that electing Trump was re-owning the GOP. Instead they’re all onboard with RINOcare. At this late stage in America’s democracy experiment, I’m not sure that just voting is going to solve anything. 1776 was a wake-up call as was 1861…

      blind faith in any politician is foolish.

        ‘Blind faith’ is a stretch.

        Trump is the only game we have right now. So far, so good.

        It’s the rats of the GOPe and the monsters infesting our government we have to worry about – the James Comeys, the Lindsey Grahams, the Paul Ryans, the McConnells, etc. etc. – they are all Nancy Pelosi without the facelift.

      It’s time to take out the unelected trash. The ones who have been there for eons send teach all the newcomers how to subvert the Constitution and the rule of law. Never thought I would be saying something like this but I think we are at the breaking point.

        We are at the breaking point: THEIRS.

        The GOPe has NO voter base – just donor money.

        We control this country now. We have to act like it.

        Trump needs to fire by the dozens. Sessions needs to turn the DOJ loose. And Comey needs to be removed.

    MTED in reply to JoAnne. | March 22, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    We ARE revolting!
    Umm, wait…

I never understood why people assumed Trump had accused Obama of a crime. Don’t they know what you can get away with that’s perfectly legal?

I see, it was “legal.” And Jugears relaxed the restrictions on sharing confidential information gathered during such “legal” surveillance such that it can now get passed around the government like a case of the clap in a Dutch whorehouse.

As is his habit, Trump was rather “in-artful” in his phrasing, but how exactly is what he said not correct?

The bottom line is that our government now spies on whomever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want. And what the phuck are any of us going to do about it?

Amid President Trump’s claims the Obama administration “wiretapped” him prior to taking office

His actual claim was that his phones and his office were wiretapped by Obama “just before the victory” and “in October, just prior to election”. He was quite specific.

Which, as Nunes made clear, is not what we have here. You’re already trying to fuzz away from Trump’s claim that president Obama did it and that his phones and office were the target, fuzzing away the timeframe from his claim, when it was made so explicit as to include the month, just looks silly.

    alaskabob in reply to Awing1. | March 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Yes, absolute perfect exact correct wording is necessary to completely describe in full detail all of the occurrences as they happened in a lucid fully understandable way. It was so much easier when President Obama could say anything and it mean whatever it meant at that time and maybe not after that….it was a simpler time.

    Petrushka in reply to Awing1. | March 22, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I’m sure that low level people in the CIA or NSA took it upon themselves to commit the felony of disseminating “incidental” intercepts instead of following the law and deleting them.

    Yep. I believe that. And took it upon themselves to commit the felony of of leaking stuff having no national security value, but when published with the wrong context, undermined the elected government of the United States.

    This happens all the time.

Where’s my popcorn machine…

Close The Fed | March 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm

I’m glad Nunes came out with it without giving anyone a chance to shut him up.

    Petrushka in reply to Close The Fed. | March 22, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I’m sure Trump knew about it. Maybe not all the details, but knew it was going on. I think the hearings may have been an opportunity for Comey to redeem himself.

    Now what does he do?

      “Now what does he (Trump) do?”

      Fire Comey for failing to cooperate with congressional investigations. Fire Comey because he just doesn’t trust him.

      Did I say, Fire Comey.

      He should also follow Obama and give an end date to the FBI Russia investigations whereupon they must prepare a full report for the president and the intelligence committees of what they have found and NOT found. Can’t just let this go on for ever. They have had 8 months and obviously haven’t found anything in 8 months.

      How do we know they haven’t found anything in 8 months? Because if they did it would be on front page of NYT and WaPo.

        4fun in reply to garybritt. | March 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

        They have had 8 months and obviously haven’t found anything in 8 months.
        How do we know they haven’t found anything in 8 months? Because if they did it would be on front page of NYT and WaPo.

        Yep, look how long it took the fbi to go through 650,000 emails on weiner’s computer in order to absolve hildabeast. About a week if I recall correctly.
        This is an inquisition not an investigation.

          Sanddog in reply to 4fun. | March 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm

          This entire investigation stinks. The DNC refused to give the FBI their servers, instead using a company to investigate which already had a contract with them. Without those servers, there’s nothing to investigate and no legitimate assertions can be made yet we’ve got the House Intelligence committee holding hearings? According to leaked emails, the democrats had been trying to tie Trump to Putin since Dec 2015 to take the heat off Hillary. Maybe the focus of the hearings should be why the FBI opened an investigation based on allegations from senior democrats instead of actual facts.

      dmi60ex in reply to Petrushka. | March 22, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Sorry did not mean to down vote ,small buttons ,big fingers.

      I would say that probably the unnamed person who gave the info to Nunes rhymes with Tonald Gump

    Ragspierre in reply to Close The Fed. | March 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    President Trump has been claiming for weeks that Trump Tower was “wiretapped” by President Obama. He and his spokespeople later backed away from this somewhat suggesting he didn’t necessarily mean his phone calls were being listened to by anyone, only that surveillance was taking place. Now we have this story suggesting there was some surveillance during the transition. The first impulse may be to connect the two, i.e. this is what Trump was talking about all along.

    However, Rep. Nunes emphasized that this appears to have been incidental surveillance and also described it as “legally done” according to Eric Geller.

    **Also, Nunes said the White House was not aware of this which is why he was heading there to brief them. If the White House didn’t know about this then obviously it couldn’t have been what Trump was talking about two weeks ago.**

    With something like this, it seems a big part of it will come down to the intent of the people who were gathering the information. We’ll have to wait to learn more to see if there was any malicious intent directed at the incoming Trump team.

      Nunes also said (1) that the inclusion of the incidental information (i.e. the inclusion of what the private US citizens on Trump’s transition team and Trump’s employees had to say) in the actual intelligence report seemed to him to be of NO INTELLIGENCE VALUE and should have been EXCLUDED from the report; and (2) that the inclusion of the private US citizen info of no intelligence value in the reports was further compounded by the unmasking of individual names and its wide distribution throughout the Obama government.

      This is EXACTLY the kind of stuff President Trump was talking about. It just isn’t all of it. We don’t know all of the surveillance. This is just the tip of the spying and Obamagate scandal.

      MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | March 22, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      I will be waiting for their intent to come out. Just like the IRS targeting, I doubt anything will happen. I like what he said:

      Nunes also reported that as of now, he “cannot rule out” President Obama ordering the surveillance.

      And contrary to earlier media reports, Nunes clarified that the surveillance was not related to the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia. This surveillance, he emphasized to reporters, does not “have anything to do with Russia.”

      So either there is some nasty stuff out there on Trump and they are using the Russian thing to get it out there or the FBI and Democrats are covering things up. I am guessing a few RINO’s are caught up in it too. Possible a few others from foreign countries too. Trump has been right about a lot of things. His delivery is awful, but successful. This may be worst than Watergate as he said. The coverup is sounding more than just a third rate burglary. Too bad the press does not go after this like they did Deep Throat.

      MarkSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | March 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      I also think that Nauce went to Trump to give him heads up because this is going to break wide open. My guess is the FBI and Dems caught up in the cover-up are going to pull all stops. The Independent investigation is not going to be “independent” IMO.

I don’t see any problem with the Republican presidential nominee being spied on by the intelligence service of the United States under the command of a Democrat president in the last few months of the campaign and then having the intelligence collected then leaked to various members of the press for the political purpose of electing a Democrat. Really, that’s what they’re saying. Plain and simple.

Hillary has gone from investigating Watergate to instigating her own version by proxy.

Would this have come out if she were elected? Nope. It would have vanished under the rug somewhere while Saint Hillary descended to her White House throne.

    Thank God Hillary Clinton is incompetent – and that enough Americans still see through political b.s.

    And thank God they are foisting Chelsea Clinton – another dumbbell – on the democrat party.

First ray of sunshine through the window slats.

What will be found when the windows are thrown open and the full light of day penetrates to the corners?

Trump was too specific. My gut tells me there will be more to come. This is just the beginning.

Hang on…tge CHI just said Trump was never spied on (And the media went to town on with that) yet here this guy is saying Trump WAS spied on!!!

This is problematic in that a Presidential candidate and his team us being spied upon and then the same agency lies directly about the spying never having taken place!

This really begs the question on who the he’ll these people are accoi table to? Certainly doesn’t seem to be the President of the USA!!


Bruce Hayden | March 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm

I think that many are reading too much into this. At a minimum, what seems to have happened is that Trump people talked to people being legally surveilled by the NSA (most notably, the Russian Ambassador). Legally, once the fact that US Persons (most notably US Citizens) have had their conversations intercepted, their identity is supposed to be protected by “minimization”. Unless there is, essentially, actionable intelligence that the conversation involves an (typically terrorist) attack on the US, the identity of the US Person is supposed to be deleted. And, the same with the intercepted message. And, that is where the crimes come in – instead of minimizing the identity of the inadvertently wiretapped US Persons, as required by FISA, their identity was publicly disclosed. The only thing that we really know today, that we didn’t know earlier (thanks to the illegal “unmasking” of Gen. Flynn’s identity) is that this seems to have happened a lot more than we suspected.

What is going to be interesting is to see what happens when the underlying FISA warrants are reviewed by the Senate and House intelligence committees. We almost got the impression that after the Obama Administration got turned down for regular wiretap orders, and then for FISA intercepts (in June, I believe), they narrowed their application, and got FISA interception orders in Oct. Were these FISA applications legitimate? Did they invent stuff to incite the FISC judge? Did they leave anything relevant out, such as that the Trump campaign, etc. was the real target? Should be interesting.

    PhillyGuy in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I believe Nunes also indicated that these reports were “widely disseminated” even though they were of “no intelligence value”

    MarkSmith in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 22, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Well it isn’t about the Russians is it!:

    And contrary to earlier media reports, Nunes clarified that the surveillance was not related to the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia. This surveillance, he emphasized to reporters, does not “have anything to do with Russia.”<i.

Who else besides me is waiting for “Hey Comey…you’re so fired”….

    I still don’t understand why he kept him on.

      Probably kept him on for the same reason Comey made public disclosure of and confirmation of Russia investigation. If Trump fires Comey the media and the left and the deep state will claim Trump fired him to interfere with the Russia investigation.

      I agree however the time has come to call Comey’s bluff and fire him. He could be fired for many reasons or no reason, one is they Comey isn’t cooperating with intelligence committee investigation.

        Who cares what the media says except people living in the media bubble who are already indoctrinated?

        Take their power away by ignoring them and diluting their presence in the White House press room.

        Arminius in reply to garybritt. | March 22, 2017 at 8:48 pm

        It wouldn’t have been too hard to explain that the director of the FBI has very little to nothing to do with any particular investigation. Or shouldn’t. If the director of the FBI is micromanaging individual investigations, that right there is an indication that something is very, very wrong.

Don’t get too excited about this, one way or another.

Nunes says that Trump and his associates’ communications were intercepted. He says that some of these communications, along with the identities of the Trump associates, were released both to other intelligence agencies and to the press. And, furthermore he stipulated that the communications were in no way related to any Russian, or other national security, investigations.

Now, this may be accurate or not. But, it does not answer the question of why the FBI was not running communication intercepts of the Trump organization if it was investigating that organization for contact with the Russians as part of a national security investigation, as was inferred by Dir. Comey. This would seem to be SOP in such an investigation, wouldn’t it?

Also, whether the intercepts were done legally or not does not address the legality of leaking the content of the intercepted communications as well as the identity of the American citizens involved. It is now evident that the communications WERE intercepted. This is not shocking as the NSA routinely records all communications both foreign and domestic. However, federal law is very strict with regard to releasing the contents of intercepted communications and the identity of those involved, especially if they are US citizens.

The take-away here is that Trump was correct when he claimed that communications were, in fact, recorded. He was correct when he claimed that said communications, and the identity of those involved, were illegally released to the public. And the trail seems to be getting closer to the fact that organs of the US Government, under the control of the former President, were responsible for these intercepts and the dissemination of the information contained therein. So, all we have yet to learn is who, in the Obama administration, knew what and when did they know it.

The interesting thing here is that Nunes is acting to defuse a Watergate level scandal, involving elements of a Democrat Presidency, by stressing that the intercepts were “legal”. Anyone wonder why?

    Arminius in reply to Mac45. | March 22, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    No, don’t need to wonder why.

    Collecting information on US persons, retaining information on US persons, and disseminating information on US persons are three separate and distinct activities.

    “Incidental collection” can be entirely legal. The improprieties, the illegalities, can lie in the other two separate, distinct activities.

      Mac45 in reply to Arminius. | March 22, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      You are missing the point.

      Whether or not the intercepts are legal is immaterial in today’s world. The NSA routinely sweeps up just about all of the electronic communications in the country, without any warrant. The warrant was only needed, to allow access to these intercepted communications, if a US citizen was the object of an investigation. That all changed after this last election, when the rules, for the dissemination of this type of intercept, were changed to allow all of the US intelligence community to access these intercepts without a warrant and without the masking of the identities of the person’s involved. And, these rule changes were done by the outgoing President after Trump was elected, And, almost immediately, embarrassing information concerning Trump and his associates began to appear in the press. The timing on this is more damning than the missing 18 minutes on an audio tape.

      So, why would Nunes stress that the intercepts, themselves, might be [he did say might be, not were, after meeting with the Pres] legal? It is likely the reason is that most of the population of the US does not know the extent of the monitoring of electronic communications which occurs in this country. If they ever found out, for sure, the backlash would be unbelievable. And, the entire Congress would be caught up in the storm, not just the Democrats. That the last administration and current elected Democrats have let the cat out of the bag here, has got to be terrifying.

IT really doesn’t matter whether the intercepts (spying) was legal. The issue here is that spying on a Presidential candidate and his team is HUGELY unethical!

Remember, the Russian drama only really became a thing once HRC lost (because she was unelectable).

Russia wasn’t such an issue while the Democrat media controlled the airwaves and could ignore wikileaks etc.


“Incidentally”! Um, yeah, we believe that!!

    Arminius in reply to natdj. | March 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I can believe it. Reread the the subtitle. These communications involved the Trump transition team. Unlike you and me, they’ll be communicating with a lot of targets for collection, foreign leaders, beginning with receiving the phone calls of congratulations from world leaders.

    I would be more surprised if they hadn’t been incidentally collected.

    But since when has the content of the presidential transition team members communications with foreign leaders been retained, widely disseminated, and ultimately leaked to the press?

    Trump isn’t the danger we need to worry about. We have a politicized, weaponized intelligence community going rogue before our eyes. That’s the real threat.

The mainstream media already discounting this and saying Nunes is trying to derail the investigation .

I have been follow Cyber Security and I think there is open war that the Dems are pushing. Adam Schiffer is a work of art.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that he has “grave concerns” over Chairman Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) handling of the Trump Tower wiretapping investigation.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Nunes for his surprise announcement earlier in the day that he had seen intelligence intercepts that showed authorities had incidentally gathered information on members of the Trump transition team during investigations that the chairman said were not related to Russia.

This guy is dirty or just totally clueless. I saw this in January and he makes up stuff to sound intelligent.

He distorts who is really doing the hacking to pin it all the the Russians and discounts Anonymous. Wikileaks needs to step things up to tell the real story because these losers are getting away with murder and have way too much control.

I sure hope Nunes is going to blow the cover off this baby because the Blackhats are in crisis mode and will step up the manufacturing fake news like crazy.

Yep, the machine is in full swing:

From the Atlantic:

“Actually, no, Chuck,” Schiff said. “I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now … I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.”

Shortly after FBI director James Comey testified that there was no evidence to support President Trump’s tweeted claim that President Obama had him wiretapped at Trump Tower, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) disclosed what is being regarded as “bombshell” news that members of the Trump transition team, potentially including then-president-elect Trump himself, were “monitored” by U.S. intelligence agencies.

So is Nunes contradicting Comey’s version of events? Have we broken new ground? If you have been reading National Review Online, you know the answer to those questions is no.

Read more at:

I’ll take Andy McCarthy’s read of this turd-swirl over the BS of some posters here.

Read the whole thing. Nobody is saying nothing wrong has been done. But some of you are bat-shit bonkers.