Nunes's Intel Claims Contradicted by Documents Seen by Lawmakers on Both Sides

Violet Tucker
April 13, 2017

Republican and Democratic lawmakers who reviewed the same intelligence documents as House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) say they have not yet seen evidence to support the allegation that the Obama administration collected information on Trump transition associates, according to a Tuesday CNN report.

Trump last week called Rice's involvement in unmasking his staffers' names in those reports "one of the big stories of our time", telling The New York Times that he believed she broke the law. Trump had claimed the matter was a "massive story".

Nonetheless, during a Fox Business interview that aired Wednesday morning, Trump was still suggesting some sort of inappropriate surveillance occurred and that Nunes' intelligence reports validated him.

Rice's supposed unmasking requests appeared to be "normal and appropriate" inquiries for a senior government official to make, another congressional source told CNN. But ranking Democrat Adam Schiff eventually secured the president's permission allowing committee members to view the reports.

CNN's report vindicates Rice.

"Perhaps I didn't know how right I was", Trump said, "Because nobody knew the extent of it". "It's such an important story for our country and the world".

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He said earlier in the interview that it's "obvious" why his predecessor eased the rules on raw intelligence sharing on his way out 'when you look at Susan Rice and what's going on'.

"Losing 14 minutes of audiotape in comparison to this is a little spat in the sandbox in the kindergarten", Gorka said.

Rice denied the accusations of being politically motivated with her requests last week on MSNBC. "There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a US person was referred to - name not provided, just a USA person - and sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request the information as to who the USA official was", Rice said. Trump supporters who note the lack of hard evidence of Trump-Russia connections might understandably argue that using surveillance powers to keep tabs on the opposing party and incoming administration is the stuff of banana republics.

Nunes stunned colleagues on the bipartisan House Intelligence Committee last month when he held a press conference announcing he had seen documents that showed "incidental collection" of information on some members of Trump's campaign team. He reviewed the documents on White House grounds with the help of White House officials, despite House Speaker Paul Ryan saying Nunes informed him that the information came from a "whistleblower". She said her requests were within her role in the Obama Administration and "absolutely not for any political purposes, to spy, or anything".

Nunes' office did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. Nunes temporarily stepped down from the Russian Federation probe, after Democrats and other critics called for his recusal.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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