Trump Transition Team Under Surveillance, House Chairman Says
Following November’s election, President Donald Trump’s transition team—and possibly even the president himself—was surveilled by the U.S. government under the Obama administration, said House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes.
The surveillance, Nunes added, appeared to be legal, but expressed concern as it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into allegations Russia meddled in the 2016 election.
“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes said, as reported by Politico. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”
Nunes, a Republican from California, added that he’ll head to the White House to brief the president on the matter. The information divulged to him was obtained from “sources who thought that we should know it,” he added.
“I’m actually alarmed by it,” Nunes told the press. “Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report,” he said.
Trump told reporters at another event on Wednesday that he “somewhat” feels vindicated by Nunes’ statements. “I very much appreciate the fact that they found what they found,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.
“So far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter which is now a couple weeks old,” Nunes also told reporters.
“There’s a lot of questions that I think his statement raises, and that I hope we can get to the bottom of,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, Fox News reported.
Earlier this month, Trump claimed on Twitter that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration. FBI Director James Comey told Congress on Monday that there was no evidence of wiretapping. He also confirmed the FBI is investigating alleged Russian interference, while later adding that it’s possible for people to collude with a foreign power without them ever knowing about it.
Trump, meanwhile, responded by referencing statements made by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, tweeting that “there is no evidence POTUS colluded with Russia,” adding the “story is fake news and everyone knows it.”