White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

31 March 2017, 01:48 | Noah Barnes

Image Former acting US attorney general Sally Yates had been due to give evidence

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina Mc Carthy looks on as Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice

Mark Warner, D-Va., left, arrive for the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 30, 2017. La.

"The intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in our elections - paired with mounting evidence of connections between the Trump administration and Putin's government - demands a thorough and nonpartisan investigation", said Takano, who serves on House committees pertaining to education and the workforce, space, science and technology and veterans affairs.

The Times reported that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the NSC, and Michael Ellis, a White House lawyer who previously worked on the House intelligence committee, played a role in helping Nunes view the materials.

Cohen-Watnick was almost fired earlier in the month at the request of National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, but was overruled by US President Donald Trump after he appealed to White House advisers Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, Trump's Jewish son-in-law.

Then, Tuesday, Nunes said that he had invited Comey again to come testify before the House intelligence committee.

Nunes, who heads the intelligence committee, has been criticized for initially denying the intelligence community had evidence of links between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian operatives.

Trump, later that day, said the information Nunes provided him "somewhat" vindicated his unfounded claim that he was surveilled by Obama's administration.

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White House spokesman Sean Spicer says a letter was sent to lawmakers Thursday.

That closely maps with how Rep. Devin Nunes described the information he viewed at the White House last week, and subsequently briefed Trump on during a hastily arranged session.

Nunes earlier this month said he had been shown information indicating that the USA intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of President Trump's transition team.

Committee chairman Devin Nunes responded "Why would I?" when asked Tuesday if he should recuse himself.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment, explained NYT. He's become a controversial figure in intelligence circles, but Trump made a decision to keep him on over the objections of the CIA, according to the officials. He would not say whether it was the same material Nunes had already seen. Namely, he still wants to know how Nunes obtained the information that suggested Trump's transition team had been placed under surveillance.

Nunes and the other Intelligence Committee members have the security clearance to read the documents-but it took a whistleblower to make them available.



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