Barack Obama, Big Government, Donald Trump, Issues, The White House

Who Knew What About Trump Surveillance? New Details Raise More Questions


Photo: U.S. Department of Defense

The chairman of the House intelligence panel acknowledged Wednesday that President Donald Trump and members of his team were likely under surveillance, at least incidentally, between Election Day and the presidential inauguration.

Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also refused to rule out the involvement of senior Obama administration officials.

Nunes’ committee will investigate who knew what about the “surveillance activities” used against Trump and his associates.

“While there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates,” the chairman said.

“I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition,” Nunes said. “Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration—details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value—were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

He added, “To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”

Trump caused a political firestorm when he tweeted on March 4:

Trump added:

Trump and his aides have faced intense scrutiny for failing to provide specific evidence of such activity aside from disparate media reports.

A reporter asked Trump Wednesday, “Do you feel vindicated by Chairman Nunes coming over here?”

The president responded, “I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do, I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found. I somewhat do.”

Nevertheless, Trump’s earlier tweet is not entirely consistent with Nunes’ statement. Trump said the surveillance occurred in the lead up to his victory at Trump Tower. Nunes said surveillance occurred during the transition period after Election Day and before the inauguration.

It’s unclear from the information made public by Nunes whether President Barack Obama directly played any role in the surveillance as Trump previously said.

When asked Wednesday if he could rule out the involvement of senior Obama administration officials, Nunes responded, “No, we cannot.”

Nunes has asked the FBI, National Security Agency, and the CIA to cooperate in helping the intelligence committee determine the answers to the following questions:

  • “Who was aware of it?”
  • “Why was it not disclosed to Congress?”
  • “Who requested and authorized the additional unmasking?”
  • “Whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates?”
  • “Whether any laws, regulations, or procedures were violated?”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticized Nunes for “diversion and desperation.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the lack of cooperation with the Democrats on the House committee “very disturbing.”

Originally published by Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal

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