White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

White House invites lawmakers to see intelligence material

At the top of the briefing, Spicer announced that the White House had sent a letter to the top lawmakers on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees inviting them to the White House to review documents discovered "in the ordinary course of business" by national security staff. Intelligence agencies routinely monitor the communications of foreign officials living in the USA, though the identities of Americans swept up in that collection is to be protected.

"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.

The report from NYT claims that Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who has refused to release his sources, held a press conference on March 22 to explain that he had intelligence reports on the surveillance of the Trump transition team, which occurred under the Obama Administration.

Mimicking Astley's dance moves, the late-night host said he agrees with Democrats: "He really should "rick"-cuse himself".

Early last week, White House officials privately encouraged reporters to look into whether information about Trump associates had been improperly revealed in the intelligence gathering process.

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Thirty-year-old Cohen-Watnick has already been the subject of some controversy within the White House. The White House quickly embraced Nunes' revelations, saying they vindicated Trump's explosive and unverified claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped his NY skyscraper. According to the Atlantic, Nunes has also previously said the White House wasn't aware of the information in the reports. He's become a controversial figure in intelligence circles, but Trump chose to keep him on over the objections of the CIA and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to the officials.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the intelligence and to avoid angering Mr. Cohen-Watnick and Mr. Ellis. 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. Cohen-Watnick serves as the senior director for intelligence at the NSC.

Both Nunes and the White House have since then tried to distract attention from Comey's testimony by raising several peripheral issues, such as incidental collection, when the communications of innocent Americans is inadvertently swept up as the National Security Agency or other agencies legally spy on a foreign target.

"We had staff-to-staff discussions with their congressional affairs people", Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said.

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