White House was wrong for withholding intelligence documents: Lawmaker
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 23:41
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, a leading authority in the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into possible ties between the Trump administraiton and Russian Federation, traveled to the White House on March 31 to view classified intelligence pertaining to alleged surveillance by the Obama administration.
Yesterday's report in The New York Times alleging that two White House officials played a role in providing Rep. Devin Nunes of California with the intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were "incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by us spy agencies", isn't the whole story, according to Fox News reporter Adam Housley, citing multiple anonymous sources.
Schiff went to the White House Friday at the Trump's administration's invitation. But the seven-term congressman has refused and told reporters that the panel's investigation "continues". "It strains credulity to think that Trump would need Nunes to tell him about intelligence reports discovered by people who work in the White House".
Congress shouldn't vote to reauthorize the surveillance laws in the fall, he argues, but "sadly, the merits of this case are undermined by how the White House and Nunes have made it".
"If that was created to hide the origin of the materials, that raises profound questions about just what the White House is doing", Schiff said.
But after Thursday's revelation, the Nunes story appears to be reaching its climax, and it doesn't look good for either Nunes or the White House.
According to Spicer, Nunes was summoned to the White House by an "individual" and was not hiding or roaming secretly on the grounds. He added, "Details about USA persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting".
When a reporter asked Spicer if the White House was more concerned about potential government leaks or Russian meddling in the US election, the press secretary initially focused on the leaks.
WELNA: And, you know, the White House has lately seized on a TV interview with former Pentagon official and Russian Federation expert Evelyn Farkas.
Schiff expressed his wishes that he receive confirmation that the materials he was invited to view were the same that Nunes was allegedly privy to.
On Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer continued to deflect questions regarding Chairman Nunes' handling of classified information, but did defend his visit to the White House to view classified documents as "routine and proper".
As a former staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a former Defense official involved with Russian affairs, she said she "got worried" that the Obama White House was not briefing Congress on what it knew. But he raised concerns that Trump officials may have used Nunes to "launder information to our committee to avoid the true source".
Nunes has said the information he received did not support that allegation, which has also been disputed by Obama and top intelligence officials.
In his letter to the White House Counsel Donald McGahn and national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Rep. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the internal matter.
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
Nunes has repeatedly sidestepped questions about who provided him the intelligence reports, though he pointedly has not denied that his sources were in the White House.