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If the White House spied on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there's a problem
April 30 2017, 06:47 | Irvin Gilbert
Sean Spicer tells reporter to 'stop shaking your head'
The top Democrat on a United States congressional committee investigating alleged ties between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's presidential campaign faulted the White House for withholding until yesterday information it said it had shared last week with his Republican counterpart.
Rep. Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, was allegedly shown the information by two White House officials.
Rep. Devin Nunes received intelligence reports concerning President Donald Trump from two White House officials he still refuses to name.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday the material the White House wants the House and Senate intelligence leaders to view was discovered by the National Security Council through the course of regular business. He and a colleague, Michael Ellis - formerly a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee - then contacted Nunes, who was on Trump's transition team.
Nunes, for his part, has said those reports about where he got his information are wrong. Spicer also forgot to mention that one of those associates, former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn, begged this week for immunity in exchange for testifying about those interactions. Before the Trump/Russia investigation, the California lawmaker was reportedly steadfast in his beliefs but relatively normal-which is probably why he wasn't much of a household name.
Schiff continued in his comments to share his suspicions that White House officials may have been attempting to "launder" information through the House Intelligence Committee.
At least some of what Nunes viewed at the White House is believed to be communications between foreign governments discussing the incoming administration, which could have been picked up through routine monitoring of diplomats and other foreign officials living in the U.S.
The Press Secretary typically strides out a few minutes after the briefing's schedule start time. He later went to the White House to brief them on his findings, ushering in a wave of criticism from Democrats, including ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff.
The affair has opened a rift between Schiff and Nunes and halted their committee's review of allegations that Russian Federation interfered in last year's election. The White House continues to insist that Trump was right when he tweeted that President Obama ordered that he'd be wiretapped. But he acknowledged: "I did use the White House to help to confirm what I already knew from other sources".
A former Obama official told NBC News that the list was created in early January and that he "hand-carried it" to committee members.
Responding to questions about Nunes, Spicer attacked the media for not covering what he said was growing evidence to support Trump's wiretapping claims. They've been emboldened in the wake of March 2 comments from former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas, who on MSNBC suggested her former colleagues tried to gather material on Trump team contacts with Russian Federation.