By, Austin O’Lay
Austin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions and comments
On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes revealed that President Trump’s personal communications may have been seized as part of a surveillance sweep conducted by the Obama administration.
Nunes told reporters on Capitol Hill that there have been “significant developments” in his team’s investigation into surveillance by the Obama administration on Donald Trump and his campaign.
Nunes said he contacted House Speaker Paul Ryan about the collection of information before he headed to the White House, adding: “I’m actually alarmed by it… Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report.” Democrats on the committee said they were not informed of Nunes’ finding before he spoke with the media.
Chairman Nunes also said,”I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”
President Trump took to Twitter earlier this month to claim that Obama had his “wires tapped,” which has given his critics much to talk about. The president has not specifically said how he came to find out about this, but Breitbart reported that the Obama administration made two requests to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor phones and a computer in Trump Tower to find any links to Russian banks. The intelligence community sought the warrant because they said that it was needed in order to investigate the situation properly.
Ultimately, no evidence was found.
The allegation has been denied by Obama and intelligence agency heads, including FBI Director James Comey.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson, President Trump was asked about his accusations against former president Obama. He told Tucker that “some interesting things will be coming to the forefront over the next few weeks.”
This news came as a surprise to the White House. During his daily briefing, Sean Spicer told reporters, “I don’t know what his (Nunes) plan is. He briefed the media before he briefed us. He went down and talked about what he found.”
When asked about the meeting between Nunes and President Trump, Sean Spicer clarified that it was Nunes that asked for a meeting, not the president, negating the media’s implied suspicion of collusion between President Trump and Devin Nunes.
The information gained by Nunes seems to have raised more questions instead of answering whether or not President Trump’s accusations have any credibility. If this is true, Democrats and the Obama administration have a lot of explaining to do.
President Trump says he feels “vindicated” after hearing the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee say that information about the Trump campaign was “incidentally collected” during the Obama administration.”I very much appreciated the fact they found what they found,” the president said.
The Obama administration could be at the center of the biggest scandal since Watergate if the House Intelligence Committee finds that the Trump campaign was in fact under surveillance.
Chairman Nunes was asked by reporters whether or not he would consider the surveillance could be defined as spying. “I guess it all depends on the definition of ‘spying,” he said. “I’m not going to get into legal definitions here, but clearly I have a concern.”
Nunes says more information will be released on Friday.