Published: Sat, April 01, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

A report from the New York Times alleges that a pair of White House officials played a role in providing the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.

The Times reported Thursday that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, according to several current USA officials, was one of two sources who provided Nunes with the intelligence.

The committee's work has been deeply, and perhaps irreparably, undermined by Nunes' apparent coordination with the White House.

Asked about the New York Times report on White House involvement, Nunes' spokesman Jack Langer said, "As he's stated many times, Chairman Nunes will not confirm or deny speculation about his source's identity, and he will not respond to speculation from anonymous sources".

"I look forward to reviewing these materials at the earliest opportunity", Schiff said in a response letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn.

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The president has not yet provided specific proof, but the White House had pointed to a litany media reports suggesting that members of Trump's team had been surveilled, although not in the way Trump initially suggested.

Nunes has said the information he received did not support that allegation, which has also been disputed by Obama and top intelligence officials. This is a body blow for Nunes, who presented his findings last week as if they were surprising to the White House.

It potentially heightens the criticism about Nunes' ability to conduct the House panel's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election without White House interference.

Nunes has said he won't reveal the source of his information.

The White House repeatedly deflected questions Thursday about whether any Trump administration officials gave the House Intelligence Committee chairman information that led him to say Trump transition members were caught up in standard foreign surveillance. Russian Federation mounted a campaign of "propaganda on steroids" seeking to influence the 2016 US presidential election, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says, listing several areas of concern about possible links to Republican Trump's campaign. In President Barack Obama's administration, the reporter from the AP said "thank you" when he or she felt the Press Secretary had fulfilled his daily questioning requirement. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the internal matter. Cohen-Watnick serves as the senior director for intelligence at the NSC. If the Times report is accurate, then Nunes's statement to Bloomberg was false. "As the Speaker said this morning, the chairman has his full confidence".

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