Bloomberg reports: Almost two weeks after President Donald Trump’s tweets accusing his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower, the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee tried to offer some support by saying that the president’s team was caught up in a U.S. surveillance net.
Representative Devin Nunes said Wednesday that the intelligence community collected multiple conversations involving members of Trump’s transition team during legal surveillance of foreign targets after he won election last year. Trump told reporters at the White House, “I somewhat do” feel vindicated by the latest development.
The intercepted communications weren’t captured through wiretaps — the president’s spokesmen had already abandoned that assertion — or through surveillance directed at Trump or his aides, Nunes told reporters at the Capitol before heading to the White House to brief Trump on his findings.
But Nunes said he was “alarmed” that the identities of Trump aides were revealed in intelligence community documents. “Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report,” he said, adding that he didn’t know if Trump’s “own communications were intercepted.”
Then Nunes headed to the White House to brief the president on what he had learned. “I very much appreciate the fact that they found what they found,” Trump said. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: “The chairman would not answer the question of whether anyone associated with the White House was the source of the new information.”
Nunes says the information he has seen was “widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”
In spite of Donald Trump’s lack of interest in receiving intelligence briefings, it seems likely that the White House was already well aware of what Nunes today “revealed.”
Indeed, it’s hard not to wonder whether this is a charade in which Trump leaked information to Nunes so that the Republican Congressman could then theatrically “brief” the president while glossing over the fact that none of this changes the fact that Trump was not the target of a wiretap.
I also wonder whether as events now unfold, the FBI may be gathering growing evidence of a Trump-led effort to subvert a criminal investigation.