The Biggest Takeaways From Sean Spicer's Press Briefing Just Now

The Times said the two officials who provided Nunes with highly classified intelligence reports were former Defense Intelligence Agency official Ezra Cohen-Watnick, now the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a former House Intelligence Committee staffer who now works on national security issues at the White House counsel's office. She did not say that Obama or member of his administration had ordered surveillance of Trump Tower or leaked any classified information. Intelligence and law enforcement officials, along with Democratic and Republican lawmakers, responded by saying there was no evidence to show Obama had wiretapped Trump.

Schiff previously said the Republican chairman did not share the reports about possible Trump transition surveillance with him before announcing what he found.

She said she was concerned that Trump staff would try to compromise those sources and methods, "meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence", Farkas told MSNBC.

Fox News continued to say that the Intelligence and House sources with direct knowledge of the disclosure of classified names said that Chairman Nunes now knows who is responsible - and that person is not in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Top Democrats have called on Nunes to recuse himself from the inquiry, which may implicate Trump campaign officials.

Schiff added that the documents provided did not justify the Trump administration not providing them to his committee in the first place and questioned why staffers shared the data with Nunes first. His actions have fueled criticism that the committee, under his leadership, is unable to conduct a serious, independent investigation.

"Our view was that the smart move was to make all the materials available to the chairman and the ranking member of the relevant committees", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during the White House briefing Thursday. "What chairman Nunes said is, he just came into possession of new information that he thought was valuable to this investigation and that he was going to go and inform people about it".

"Nothing I could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures, and these materials should now be provided to the full membership of both committees", he said. Officials say Cohen-Watnick has been reviewing the reports from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the National Security Council is based.

That claim has now turned Farkas into somewhat of a target for those eager to pin responsibility on the Obama administration for the surprising volume and pace of leaks about the investigations into possible connections between Trump affiliates and Russian Federation.

"Ultimately the speaker and the chair decide who they want to run this investigation and they'll have to articulate why and how they feel that can be done credibly", Schiff said.

The current and former officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the sensitive matters. He said it's not in the White House's interest to talk about the process. Schiff called for the full contents of the documents to be shared with all members of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

  • Salvatore Jensen