Intelligence reports show then-President Elect Donald Trump and his transition team may have been monitored by agencies in the weeks after the election via “incidental collection,” a top Republican revealed in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the President-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California), said.
Nunes explained “incidental collection” of information regarding the President-elect and his team occurred primarily in November through January according to reports.
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 22, 2017
Nunes comments come off the heels of FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress on Monday, during which he stated there was “no information” to confirm Donald Trump’s claims that he had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama.
“I believe it was all obtained legally,” he said.
The question is why was it unmasked if it was unmasked, and then who was on the dissemination list and why was the list so broad? he added.
The Republican congressman said there was nothing about Russia or the investigation of the Trump team’s ties to Russian officials in the reports he saw.
Nunes said a report detailing these claims will be released on Friday with help from the NSA, but that he was doubtful the FBI would be as cooperative.
“So far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter which is now a couple weeks old,” he said in a briefing outside of the White House.
During a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, a reporter asked the president if he felt “vindicated” by Nunes’s announcement.
— Bre Payton (@Bre_payton) March 22, 2017
“I somewhat do,” Trump said.
UPDATE: Some of the communications incidentally collected were reportedly of individuals on the transition team talking about the Trump family, CNN reported.
Some of the communications picked up were Trump transition officials talking about Trump's family, Intel source says https://t.co/rtlpr3Owrm
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 22, 2017