- The Benghazi guy is taking over, so that’s not necessarily something that Democrats will appreciate that much.”
( Daily Caller ) While discussing House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’ recusal from the Russia probe on MSNBC Thursday, Zerlina Maxwell cast doubt over Trey Gowdy’s ability to conduct the investigation in a “completely transparent,” bipartisan fashion.
Gowdy, along with Mike Conaway and Thomas Rooney, were announced Thursday morning as the three committee members now heading the probe, to which guest Kristin Tate said she was “happy to hear.”
“The Benghazi guy,” Maxwell, who previously served as Hillary Clinton’s director of progressive media, incredulously responded to Tate. “The Benghazi guy is taking over, so that’s not necessarily something that Democrats will appreciate that much.”
- Devin Nunes two sources on Obama wiretapping of Trump: Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the office of the White House counsel.
( Daily Caller ) The New York Times has revealed the two White House officials who helped provide House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes with information showing that the Obama administration incidentally collected intelligence on Donald Trump advisers.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the office of the White House counsel, are the two officials, according to The Times.
Nunes, a California Republican and member of the Trump transition team, has refused to disclose how he obtained information showing the Obama administration’s incidental surveillance of the Trump team.
Nunes announced the new details in a surprise press conference on Wednesday. During the briefing, Nunes suggested that his source was an intelligence community whistleblower.
During his press conference, Nunes said that the information appeared to have been collected legally, but he expressed concern that Trump advisers had been improperly unmasked.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, went on with Sean Hannity to discuss the surveillance by the Obama administration on the Trump Transition Team. Nunes said the crime of releasing General Flynn’s conversations to the Russian Ambassador is up to five years in prison.
Sean Hannity: Not only an unmasking took place but also an intelligence leak. And as I understand it never happens in a case where signature intelligence such as this is in fact obtained. Is that correct?
Rep. Devin Nunes: Yeah, I’ve never heard of that happening before and as I’ve said many times the only crime that has been committed here is that one and it’s quite clear that it was a crime…
Sean Hannity: And in the case of any type of leak that would be a violation of the espionage act. That would be a felony. That would be five years potentially in prison?
Rep. Devin Nunes: That’s correct and it appears that that happened.
( Politico ) Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.
Nunes said the surveillance appeared to be legal but that 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 he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.
Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.
Nunes said his new information appears to show that additional members of the Trump transition team — beyond former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — were unmasked. This means they were identified in U.S. intelligence reports.