(NationalSentinel) Political Intelligence: Just two days after FBI Director James Comey told the House Permanent Selection Committee on intelligence he had “no information” to substantiate President Donald J. Trump’s tweeted allegations earlier this month that the Obama administration had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower, the chairman of that committee essentially confirmed what the president alleged.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said Wednesday that the U.S. intelligence community collected multiple conversations involving members of Donald Trump’s transition team after he won the election last year.
After making his disclosure at the Capitol, Nunes headed to the White House to brief the president on what he had learned. Trump then told reporters gathered for an unrelated event that“I somewhat do” feel vindicated by the latest development. “I very much appreciate the fact that they found what they found.”
Bloomberg reported further that Nunes said the intelligence he has seen appears to have been collected legally, and that Team Trump and the president were not targets of said surveillance. He also noted that the surveillance was not in connection with the Obama FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election.
Nevertheless, Nunes said he was bothered by the fact that the surveillance identified Trump Team members and their identities were then spread around various intelligence agencies.
“I’m actually alarmed by it,” Nunes, a California Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. “Details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in an intelligence community report,” he said. He said he didn’t know if Trump’s “own communications were intercepted.”
After briefing the president, Nunes told reporters that, after all, “it is possible” Trump was right when he tweeted his allegations March 4.
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Bloomberg noted further:
It was previously disclosed that U.S. intelligence agencies had picked up conversations between Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. before Trump’s inauguration. Flynn was fired in February after making contradictory statements to Vice President Mike Pence about those discussions.
Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election…
Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what’s called “incidental collection,” but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.
“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “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 said the information was given to him by “sources who thought that we should know it.”
As we have repeatedly said before, the question that needs to be asked – and hopefully Nunes is asking, as he said he’ll be getting more information on Friday – is why the surveillance was conducted in the first place (and why Obama really wanted details of the surveillance then spread to various intelligence agencies).
White House spokesman Sean Spicer, in his daily brief this afternoon, got close.
“An American citizen who’s caught up in a surveillance has, by rule of law, has their name protected,” he told reporters. “The idea that individuals’ names were unmasked and let known suggests — raises serious questions. Why was that name unmasked, what was the intention of doing that?”
Why, indeed. And what’s up with Comey’s denial?
The plot thickens. Don’t be surprised if Trump is eventually completely vindicated.