White House tells Russian Federation probers: Come see intel yourselves

The White House has invited the top Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence panels to review new material relevant to their investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the USA presidential election, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Thursday.

Nunes has been under heavy pressure by Democrats to recuse himself as the head of the House's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

CLIMATE CHANGE The White House is reviewing the United Nations global climate accord and expects a decision on whether to remain a party to the deal by the time G7 leaders meet in late May.

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In a brief statement Thursday after the Times report, Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said that "Chairman Nunes will not confirm or deny speculation about his source's identity, and he will not respond to speculation from anonymous sources". But he raised concerns that Trump officials may have used Nunes to "launder information to our committee to avoid the true source". And if it's necessary for us to interview these two individuals, then we should do so, but I have to say I'm more than perplexed by how these materials have been put forward and the motivations behind it.

Spicer had previously dismissed the notion that the White House had funneled information to Nunes, saying the idea that the congressman would come and brief Trump on material the president's team already had "doesn't pass the smell test".

Nunes has said the information he received did not support that allegation, which has also been disputed by Obama and top intelligence officials.

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The New York Times, citing several American officials, named Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel's Office, as the officials involved in liaising with Nunes. Nunes, a member of Trump's transition team, claimed the intelligence he was shown proved that information on members of Trump's transition team, as well as possibly the president himself, was "incidentally collected" by the intelligence community during the transition period on "numerous occasions". He's become a controversial figure in intelligence circles, but Trump made a decision to keep him on over the objections of the CIA, according to the officials.

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. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the internal matter. One day after the meeting, Nunes revealed in a press conference he had new information that showed the US intelligence community incidentally surveilled Trump's team during the transition.

"We received that nearly simultaneously as the time he [Sean Spicer] announced it at the press conference", the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday.

More news: Nunes had secret meeting before revealing Trump surveillance info


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