White House says real story is about leaking, not Russia

According to unconfirmed media reports, the White House shared some information it has in the case with Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, but not with his counterpart Schiff or other members of the panel.

"Today, my staff director and I plan to review the documents at the White House, fully cognizant of the fact that in the absence of the appropriate agency representatives it will not be possible to understand the full content and context of any documents we may review", stated Schiff.

Warner, D-Va., ranking Democrat on the Senate committee, offered an appeal to common sense: The public, he said, must "not lose sight of what the investigation is about: An outside foreign adversary effectively sought to hijack our most critical democratic process, the election for president" in order to "favor one candidate over another".

During his daily press briefing Friday, Spicer repeatedly pushed the White House press corps to ignore the potential intent, subject, or substance of surveillance that may have incidentally swept up Trump or members of his associates, and to focus exclusively on the fact that the information was leaked at all.

Asked whether Trump is anxious that Flynn's story will include damaging information about Trump, Spicer gave a one-word reply: "Nope".

Two White House staffers Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis are believed to have assisted Nunes last week, a USA official told CNN.

Officials say they viewed the agency as an unnecessary and bloated bureaucracy that can manipulate or distort information.

This was long before Trump sent out his now-infamous March 4 tweets claiming then-President Barack Obama "wiretapped" Trump Tower during the 2016 election.

"These are serious issues - they raise serious concerns, and if true, the issues will be devastating", Spicer said.

Just ten weeks into the Trump administration, the White House is in a defensive crouch after the former national security adviser asked for immunity from prosecution to testify, and reports emerged of national security aides feeding classified intelligence to a friendly lawmaker overseeing one of the investigations into the administration's ties to Russian Federation. "No, we don't track every single person who's on the 18 acres".

"We're told that the main issue here is not only the unmasking of the names, but the spreading of names for political purposes that have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team", reported Housley.

"What occurred in Chairman Nunes in coming here was both routine and proper", Spicer said. President Trump encouraged him to try to make such a deal to protect himself from what Trump called a "witch hunt".

"I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill - it was more, actually, aimed at telling the Hill people: get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration, because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people that left", Farkas said.

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. "What continues to come to light in terms of Obama officials admitting off or on the record consistent with what Farkas says, that there was clearly an attempt to do something politically motivated with the intelligence out there and the question is, why", Spicer said.

The White House took the unusual move of having several aides gather a small group of reporters to insist, on background, that Walsh was not being fired and was simply leaving on her own accord.

  • Leroy Wright