White House shows Adam Schiff 'same' materials shared with Nunes
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 23:28
He told reporters last week that he had seen troubling information about the improper distribution of Trump associates' intercepted communications, and he briefed the president on the material, all before informing Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat.
Then there are the stories about how Obama's White House sought to preserve and disseminate intelligence collected on ties between Trump's associates and Russian Federation in the final days of the presidency. Republican opponents of Trump were targeted by Russians too, he said. This is a body blow for Nunes, who presented his findings last week as if they were surprising to the White House.
All that happened, however, before news broke on Thursday night that Michael Flynn, who spent 27 days as Trump's national security adviser, has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Congress for immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony about connections between Russian Federation and members of the Trump campaign. Officials say Cohen-Watnick has been reviewing the reports from his fourth-floor office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the National Security Council is based. He did not disclose at the time that he viewed those materials at the White House.
Spicer confirmed that this was the new policy during Friday's briefing.
A spokesman for the NSC declined to comment. He said some Trump associates also were identified by name in the reports. This is through what is known as "incidental collection", when a US person is on the other end of a communication that is legally monitored by the USA government. The identities of those Americans are supposed to be masked in any intelligence reports disseminated in the USA government. He, of course, is the retired lieutenant general who lasted about three weeks as President Trump's national security adviser. "I had a fear that they were essentially watching the Trump staff, and he was anxious about the Trump administration, '" Spicer said about Farkas.
"I don't know why he would brief the speaker, then come down here to brief us on something that we would've briefed him on", Spicer said. "Chairman Nunes and Ranking Member Schiff, who I understand is expected here later today, both possess the appropriate credentials and clearances", Spicer said.
The White House continues to insist that Trump was right when he tweeted that President Obama ordered that he'd be wiretapped.
While committee officials have rebuffed that offer, the panels want to talk to Flynn about meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to the US before Trump was inaugurated and before Flynn was legally allowed to conduct foreign policy, among other ethical issues.
During a preliminary meeting this month to discuss the possibility of Flynn testifying before Congress, Flynn's lawyer said he wanted to explore the possibility of his client receiving full immunity in exchange for his participation.
Kelner released a statement late Thursday after The Wall Street Journal first reported that Flynn's negotiations with the committee included discussions of immunity. "We aren't entertaining immunity for anybody". After Kushner and Bannon spoke with Trump over the March 11-12 weekend, Cohen was back in place.
A US official confirmed Cohen-Watnick had access to the kind of intelligence materials, but maintained he did not play a role in helping the congressman access the documents. The agent, a former and future covert operative whose name is being withheld by The Washington Post at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency, was on a standard two-year rotation to the White House. "So I became very anxious, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more".
"That's why there were so many leaks", said Farkas, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.
Trump attributed the claim to comments he heard from an analyst on Fox News.
President Donald Trump spoke out Friday morning on his Twitter account to throw support behind former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who is seeking immunity in order to testify on possible links between Trump and Russian Federation.
Obama himself argued before leaving office that his actions were calibrated to avoid the appearance of politicizing the issue, and since then former members of his administration have defended his approach. He said that Washington had to accept "reality" and focus on fighting "Islamic State" (IS) terrorists. Spicer said to Keith.
Cohen-Watnick is among about a dozen White House officials who would have access to the types of classified information Nunes says he viewed, according to current and former USA officials. If the allegation is, well it was actually on the 1st of December or the 10th of December versus the 31st of October, I think we're starting to split some serious hairs here.