House Intel Chair: Trump Team Caught in Surveillance

Though they weren't the targets of the surveillance
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2017 5:18 PM CDT
House Intel Chair: Trump Team Caught in Surveillance
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. walks out of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, to speak with reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On Wednesday, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee dropped the kind of bombshell that raises more questions than it answers. USA Today reports Rep. Devin Nunes says he's seen intelligence reports that show communications between President Trump's team and unnamed others were "incidentally collected" by US intelligence officials. Incidental collection is what happens when US citizens happen to be recorded talking to foreign targets of surveillance, according to the Atlantic. Nunes says the surveillance in the reports, which were apparently brought to him by an unnamed source, was not directed at Trump or his team and was both normal and completely legal, CNN reports. "Nothing criminal at all involved," Nunes says.

But that didn't stop Nunes from immediately informing the White House and holding a press conference, saying he was "actually alarmed by" the reports. Democrats immediately accused Nunes of blowing "what little credibility he had left" by going to the White House before sharing the reports with the rest of the House Intelligence Committee. In fact, it's unclear if anyone besides Nunes has even seen the reports. Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, says Nunes' actions represent a "profound irregularity" and questions whether Nunes is working for the Trump administration. And while Nunes himself reiterates there was no wiretapping of Trump Tower—by Barack Obama or anybody else—Trump says he now feels "somewhat" vindicated. (More Devin Nunes stories.)

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