Devin Nunes has some explaining to do
Devin Nunes (R-CA) leaves the House floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 29, 2017.
During his daily briefing on Thursday, President Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the White House would invite the chairs and ranking members of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to view information he said was related to a request by the panels.
Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Times identified the White House official as "Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council".
And Spicer last week suggested strongly that he doubted it was the White House that provided the information.
Spicer said that the quote he gave on the 23rd was based on what Nunes had said regarding his actions.
Nunes went to the White House grounds to look at the information without informing Schiff, then held a Must-See-TV news conference to say he'd gotten hold of some hot stuff, then went to the White House to inform President Trump of the details.
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Nunes' first press conference on the intelligence came two days after FBI Director James Comey testified to the House Intelligence Committee that the bureau was looking into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials to affect the election. Schiff today said Nunes has yet to inform him what was the info, where he saw it, and who showed it to him.
Nunes has repeatedly sidestepped questions about who provided him the intelligence reports, though he pointedly has not denied that he sources were in the White House. Then, Spicer pivoted to a line he's used already this week, lecturing Garett on the press' "obsession" with the process by which Nunes has gotten his information. Nunes, who was on Trump's transition team, has declined to elaborate and he shared his information with the White House, but not his Democratic colleagues on the intelligence committee.
"Why weren't they presented in a more transparent way to the committee?" he asked. He's become a controversial figure in intelligence circles, but Trump chose to keep him on over the objections of the CIA and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to the officials.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the intelligence and to avoid angering Mr. Cohen-Watnick and Mr. Ellis.
A spokesman for Ryan later said the speaker was not aware of Nunes' source and continues to have "full confidence" in the congressman's ability to run the Russian Federation investigation.
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