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April 28 2017, 02:07 | Irvin Gilbert
Partisan chasm builds at center of House Russia investigation
There is no evidence that President Obama wiretapped Donald Trump. That accusation has been mostly dismissed. He alleged that the former president conducted surveillance in October at Trump Tower, the NY skyscraper where he ran his campaign and transition.
"This was information that was brought to me, that I thought the President needed to know, about incidental collection, where the President himself and others in the Trump transition team were clearly put into intelligence reports", Nunes said at a briefing in the Rose Garden".
"No longer does the Congress have credibility to handle this alone, and I don't say that lightly", said McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Nunes said that the officials' handling of communications in the waning days of the Obama administration considered him.
Nunes said the surveillance appears to have been legally obtained, but what is now in question is whether all the intelligence collected relating to Trump and members of his team should have stayed under wraps.
So on Thursday, the question became should Nunes be held to the same standard that he and his Republican colleagues appeared to advocate on Monday?
"You don't take information that the committee hasn't seen and present it orally to the press and to the White House before the committee even has a chance to vet whether it's even significant", he fumed to reporters on Wednesday.
The disclosure came two days after FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed the bureau's own investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with Russian Federation.
Schiff also said in a statement that Nunes told him the names of USA citizens in the intercepted communications "were in fact masked, but that he could still figure out the probable identity of the parties". And while he said that surveillance appeared to be legal, he raised concerns that the names of USA citizens improperly made their way into intelligence reports. The Republican National Committee made a pitch with the subject line "Vindicated" and went on to say, "President Trump has fought back and been vindicated time and time again".
"I have not seen anything like that", McCain said on the Today Show Thursday.
Nunes said the information was classified, but argued that disclosing the existence of the report and the nature of it did not reveal any classified information. However, the White House ordered the Congress to check this information.
He further noted that he could not show the panel information that was given to him by a source.
Swalwell said Nunes' announcement is "nothing more than the latest smoke bomb that's been rolled into this investigation, to obstruct what's going on here". US officials told the outlet that while the information law enforcement has is largely circumstantial, it has become a focus of the investigation. In that hearing, FBI director James Comey made the bombshell announcement that the ongoing investigation into the meddling includes looking at whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation in undermining the election.
Any intelligence report detailing communications between Trump transition officials and foreign agents would be classified. "A credible investigation can not be conducted this way", he said in a statement.
"Obviously there's been this discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time", he said. The U.S. routinely monitors foreign communications - particularly those of foreign persons living in the United States from countries such as Russian Federation.