If the White House spied on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there's a problem
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 9:53
"The main issue in this case, is not only the unmasking of these names of private citizens, but the spreading of these names for political purposes that have nothing to do with national security or an investigation into Russia's interference in the us election", a congressional source close to the investigation told Fox News. "That's being pretty transparent". President Donald Trump quickly used the comments to justify his claims that the Obama administration "wiretapped" his election campaign.
The White House said on Friday that it was not concerned about disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn offering to testify before Congress on Russian Federation meddling in the United States election.
"I'm only confirmed by the people who voted for me in this valley", he added, referring to the San Joaquin Valley area in central California that he represents.
Nunes sparked a controversy last week when he said he received information from an undisclosed source at the White House that conversations by President Donald Trump and his staff had been swept up as "incidental collection" by USA spy agencies targeting foreign agents. And the substance is, why were people using government resources, violating civil liberties-potentially-looking into people's backgrounds to surveil them and understand what they were doing and who they were, to unmask them, provide their names to sources, spread classified information, make it available to others, spread it to places that they weren't supposed to. One was at the agencies where the information came from, which the reporting notes would have put the source at risk, and the other location was on the 18-acre White House grounds.
Spicer has repeated expressed concern about American citizens being "unmasked" in the reports - that is, information about their identities being revealed - but neither Nunes or anybody associated with the White House has provided any evidence that improper unmasking occurred. Intelligence agencies routinely monitor the communications of foreign officials living in the USA, though the identities of Americans swept up in that collection is to be protected.
Eventually Spicer relented, admitting that Trump was not instructing Congress or the Federal Bureau of Investigation to offer Flynn immunity.
Sean Spicer at the White House on March 31.
Schiff went to the White House Friday at the Trump's administration's invitation.
For one thing, Spicer distorted Farkas' words, the newspaper said - Farkas wasn't talking about wiretapping, she was referencing an effort to keep a record of possible Russian interference in the election.
"Today my staff director and I reviewed materials at the White House", the statement read.
The White House has tried repeatedly with varying degrees of evidence to attempt to validate Trump's explosive claim earlier this month that Obama "tapped" his phones at Trump Tower during the election - a claim both Trump and Spicer have been steadily walking back for almost a month.
Now Flynn's lawyer is saying that he has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it should circumstances permit.
Anita Kumar, a White House correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers, who sits beside Ryan in the briefing room said Ryan is "known for being refreshingly blunt". And, in return, she was treated with suspicion by Trump loyalists who distrusted her background in mainstream Republican Party politics and thought she leaked information to the press, according to several administration officials.
In some ways, the week's revelations may indeed help insulate the Trump team from suspicion that it colluded with the Russians.
Nunes denied that the materials came from anyone affiliated with the White House, and said "those reports are mostly wrong". And she said in that interview that she'd urged people in the Obama administration to get as much intelligence about Russia's meddling as they could before Obama left office.
Trump aides have expressed growing frustration at their inability to gain control of Washington's narrative, just over two months into the president's tenure.