Spicer Chastises Reporter for Repeating Same Question on NYT Intel Leaks Report
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 31, 2017,
Mar 31, 2017, 5:02
Representative Adam Schiff of California, the committee's top Democrat, and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, suggested that Mr Nunes, who served on the Trump transition team, was too close to the White House to run an independent inquiry.
Nunes has come under pressure following revelations that he met with a source on White House grounds before publicly claiming he received evidence that communications by President Donald Trump and members of his transition team may have been monitored by the intelligence community.
"How many questions are you going to ask me?" a visibly agitated Nunes said as he continued to walk toward the House chamber.
Then, Nunes heads back to the White House and talks, in private, with President Trump to share the details he knows.
"First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition", he announces.
Trump hosted a reception for senators and their spouses at the White House that attracted both Republicans and Democrats.
Nunes, however, told CNN Tuesday morning he was "moving forward" with the investigation and said he won't recuse himself.
House Speaker Paul Ryan today reiterated his solidarity with Rep.
In an apparent attempt to change the subject, Mr Trump on Monday night questioned why the House Intelligence Committee was not looking into connections between former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Russian officials.
"We don't have networked access to these kinds of reports in Congress", he said.
Republican Richard Burr ignored the bait but praised the smooth way his committee members and staff had been able to work with the intelligence community, a contrast with the effort led by Nunes. He did so, he said, "in order to make time available" for Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to brief the panel on "additional information" that came up during an open hearing with the same spy chiefs last Monday. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly attempted to fire Cohen-Watnick when he was brought in but was blocked by Trump at Bannon and Kushner's behest.
A spokesperson for Nunes declined to comment on the Times report. Given Trump's penchant for shooting his mouth off on Twitter and the cast of characters now at 1600 Pennsylvania, Nunes ought to want to maintain his committee's independence and ensure an orderly, dignified investigation - something which also would help Trump's own credibility. "I think that's something that he had made very clear, and I'll let him answer it", Spicer said. And "The problem that he's created is he's gone off on a lark by himself, sort of an Inspector Clouseau investigation here, trying to find some unmasking information about collection incidental with the Trump campaign and some foreign agent outside of Russian Federation". "Because it appears like the Democrats aren't really serious about the investigation".
"No, we meaning the White House is not going to start commenting on one-off, anonymous sources that publications publish", Spicer responded. "They know we are doing an investigation and that will continue".
Neither the White House nor the intelligence committee would confirm the report, but White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the White House has discovered additional information relevant to the congressional investigations and had invited members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to the White House review it. Nunes is facing growing calls to step away from the panel's Russian Federation investigation as revelations about a secret source meeting on White House grounds raised questions about his and the panel's independence.