House intelligence chairman Devin Nunes met on the White House grounds with the source of the claim that communications involving President Donald Trump's associates were caught up in "incidental" surveillance, the congressman's spokesman said Monday.
"The chairman is extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of US citizens, and he began looking into this issue even before President Trump tweeted his assertion that Trump Tower had been wiretapped", Langer added.
The circumstances surrounding Nunes's whereabouts, and subsequent deeper questioning, obviously hint to the fact that some believe Nunes' source in all this Trump surveillance hoopla is actually Trump himself, something White House spokesman Sean Spicer shot down last week.
A government official said Nunes was seen Tuesday night at the National Security Council offices of the Eisenhower building which, other than the White House Situation Room, is the main area on the complex to view classified information in a secure room.
After hearing about Nunes' announcement, Trump told reporters he felt "somewhat" vindicated about his charge this month that former President Barack Obama had his Manhattan headquarters wiretapped in the run-up to the presidential election.
The chairman then went to the White House to brief the president on his findings, leaving fellow committee members out of the loop.
However, there are a number of locations in Washington, D.C., that offer the same access - leading some to wonder if the location of the meeting indicates the information came from inside the White House. In some cases, he said the names of Trump advisers caught up incidentally in the eavesdropping were not expunged from surveillance reports as those of USA persons should have been.
The House Intelligence Committee also plans to again hear from FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers at a closed-door briefing, a week after Comey publicly acknowledged that the bureau is investigating whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow in the election hacking campaign. Democrats on the committee accused him of jeopardizing the panel's integrity, while Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) suggested Nunes's press conference had been orchestrated by the White House.
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speak with the media about the ongoing Russian Federation investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017.
Nunes has still not relayed the specifics of the documents he reviewed to the other members of the House Intel Committee and canceled a meeting that was scheduled to be held today.
"We still really want this investigation to be non-partisan, and what the chairman did this week makes that very hard", Intelligence Committee ranking member Democrat Adam Schiff told CNN on Friday. Nunes said the intelligence reports were not related to Russian Federation.
Nunes' connection to the White House has raised concerns that his committee's investigation is not a bipartisan, independent probe. At the White House. "It sure seems like the White House after what came out on Monday was scrambling to do anything it could to put another smoke bomb into this investigation".