US House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes apologizes to Democratic members

March 23, 2017 2:08 pm

House
Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. , said that President
Donald Trump’s campaign communications may have been “monitored” during
the transition period as part of an “incidental collection,” March 22,
2017. (Photo by AP)

The House Intelligence
Committee chairman has apologized to committee Democrats for going
public with information about government surveillance on the Trump
election campaign prior to speaking to them, according to a member.

On
Thursday, Devin Nunes expressed his regrets about informing
President Donald Trump of surveillance affecting his transition team
before he updated his panel.
When asked why he spoke with Trump
and the media before House Intelligence Committee Democrats, he said,
“It’s a judgement call on my part”.
“At the end of the day, sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you don’t,” Nunes added.
He further noted that he could not show the panel information that was given to him by a source.
On Wednesday, Nunes had
said that the US intelligence community “incidentally collected”
information on members of Trump’s transition team, ultimately putting it
into various intelligence reports.
The House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, expressed his frustration over Nunes’s handling of the information.
“If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been,” Schiff said.

House
Intel. Committee ranking Dem. Adam Schiff reacts to Devin Nunes
statements about surveillance of US President Donald Trump, March 22,
2017. (Photo by Reuters)Schiff further said
that he had warned that his colleague had cast a “profound cloud” over
their effort to investigate Russian attempts to interfere in the
election.
He added, “The chairman also shared this information
with the White House before providing it to the committee, another
profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under
investigation. I have expressed my grave concerns with the chairman that
a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way.”
Alleged
surveillance of the Trump campaign became part of the committee’s
investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election after
the president’s claim early this month that former President Barack
Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower.

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