Published: Fri, March 31, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports

White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports

Devin Nunes (R-CA) leaves the House floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 29, 2017.

Cohen-Watnick was almost fired earlier in the month at the request of National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, but was overruled by US President Donald Trump after he appealed to White House advisers Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, Trump's Jewish son-in-law.

Obamacrats-of both the Democratic and Republican variety-spent the last 24-hours-plus demanding House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes's head. Sen.

Then, Tuesday, Nunes said that he had invited Comey again to come testify before the House intelligence committee.

Nunes hasn't said much about his sourcing, but he has certainly suggested the only reason that he was on the White House grounds is because the information happened to be there and that it wasn't something that was fed to him by parties interested in confirming Trump's evidence-free claim that he was under surveillance during the 2016 election.

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After his press conference, Nunes briefed President Trump on the findings without touching base with the rest of the House Intelligence Committee.

Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who co-authored the story, tweeted that Ellis showed the information to Nunes while Cohen-Watnick had seen it in "another context".

"Why weren't they presented in a more transparent way to the committee?" he asked.

Instead, the White House continued to sidestep queries about its role in showing Nunes classified information that appears to have included transcripts of foreign officials discussing Trump's transition to the presidency, according to current and former US officials. Then, Spicer pivoted to a line he's used already this week, lecturing Garett on the press' "obsession" with the process by which Nunes has gotten his information.

The Times reported Thursday that Ezra Cohen-Watnick, according to several current U.S. officials, was one of two sources who provided Nunes with the intelligence. A Nunes spokesman said that discussions between House intelligence staff and Comey staff have been conducted over phone and email, but did not immediately say if a formal request had been sent via letter. He's become a controversial figure in intelligence circles, but Trump chose to keep him on over the objections of the CIA, according to the officials. Those individuals' names, according to Nunes, should have been masked as they were not subjects of investigation, but were incidentally swept up as intelligence agencies surveiled other individuals. The officials said that this month, shortly after Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter about being wiretapped on the orders of President Barack Obama, Mr. Cohen-Watnick began reviewing highly classified reports detailing the intercepted communications of foreign officials.

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