White House officials aided Nunes in getting intel

The New York Times on Thursday reported that Nunes used two White House officials to help him gather information that he believes demonstrates that President Trump's transition team was incidentally surveilled.

Rep. Nunes' spokesman did not reply to a request for confirmation from Newsweek about whether the two men played a role in the California Republican's late night trip to view the classified records at the White House. Cohen-Watnick and Ellis nearly certainly showed Nunes classified information he wasn't even supposed to see, suggesting all three "engaged in precisely the behavior that the president describes as the true national security threat posed by the Russian Federation debate".

Schiff asked as much in a letter sent Thursday afternoon to the White House.

Pelosi also said that since some of the intelligence about government surveillance under the Obama administration came from the Trump White House, Nunes was possibly being tricked into parroting Trump's message that he was wiretapped.

Nor did he confirm that it was the same information Nunes got.

In other words, this wasn't about Trump's odd conspiracy theory; it looks like White House officials snooping into snooping - during an ongoing FBI investigation.

Intrigue surrounding the source has deepened amid reports that as many as three White House officials - including Ezra Cohen, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House Counsel's Office, and top National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg - were involved in showing the documents to Mr. Nunes.

Ranking committee member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the news raised "profound questions about just what the White House is doing".

Officials said the reports consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to develop contacts within Trump's family and inner circle in advance of his inauguration.

Spicer during Thursday's briefing did not comment on specific allegations in the story, noting that the White House has invited the House and Senate Intelligence Committee heads to view the documents in question. Now there's reporting that suggests that it is within the White House, that they were the sources of this. "I never said we would give you answers". AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said the Speaker's support for Nunes was unwavering and that he would not ask the congressman to recuse himself.

In particular, Schiff criticized Nunes for first taking the information to Trump without first showing it to the committee.

For a second straight day, Spicer again harped on an nearly month old interview with a former Pentagon official from the Obama Administration, Evelyn Farkas, who fully admitted to MSNBC that she had urged former colleagues to save any intelligence that might relate to Trump.

Wherever you stand on how much the Trump campaign coordinated efforts with Russian Federation to sway the election, it's clear that the House committee that's supposed to come up with answers has taken a credibility hit. "So I'm not aware of it, but it doesn't really pass the smell test".

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