The plot thickens
Wednesday, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), held a press conference where he claimed he possessed proof that “U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition” were “incidentally” surveilled by the Obama administration. Nunes clarified that the evidence he’d reviewed was not related to, “Russia, the investigation of Russian activities, or the Trump team.”
Rep. Nunes’ announcement came as a shock to ranking committee Democrats, who learned the news via the press conference. The White House was also unaware of Nunes’ findings until the press conference.
An Intelligence Community (IC) insider approached Rep. Nunes with the bombshell evidence after FBI Director Comey’s testimony before Congress Monday. Or at least that’s what Nunes claims.
As Nunes explained, members of Trump’s transition team were surveilled “incidentally”, but what concerned him most was that transition team members had been “unmasked”. Rather than being referred to as “American A” (or something of the like) in surveillance reports, their identities were listed. Unmasking requires specific request and approval.
This “incidental” intelligence contained personal information about members of Trump’s transition team was then disseminated to other IC members, “but this had no intelligence significance at all…and that would include people in the White House getting it,” said Rep. Peter King (R-NY), House Intel Committee member.
Joining Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Wednesday night Rep. King reiterated Rep. Nunes’ previous statements. It’s worth noting that at the time of his interview with O’Reilly, King had not personally seen the information in Nunes’ possession, but had been briefed “in detail” by Nunes.
King claimed the reports they’ve sifted through are just the beginning and that there’s much more. Seemingly contradicting one of Nunes’ claims, King indicated (again, second-hand knowledge here) that the intelligence reports read like surveillance reports, detailing where the subjects went and with whom they spoke.
According to King, this is not an isolated incident. There are “many” reports with same type of intel collection.
When questioned, Trump said he felt “somewhat” vindicated and was glad Nunes found what he did.
Hours later, CNN published a story with the following headline:
Even though, “officials cautioned that the information was not conclusive and that the investigation is ongoing.”
It’s almost like the FBI swatted back. Almost.
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