Only days after FBI Director James Comey threw cold water on the President Trump’s wiretap allegations, House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes told reporters today that he has uncovered evidence of mass surveillance of Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, for a period of months after the election.
Nunes announced that he has been presented with information from “sources” who came to him, after he requested on Monday that anyone with relevant details come forward to the House Intel Committee, and these details have confirmed that surveillance of Trump’s associates, transition team and likely Trump himself did in fact take place from November through part of January.
During a press conference this afternoon Nunes said, “Some significant developments occurred over the course of the last few days with information that was brought to my attention.”
Nunes proceeded to read a brief statement, in which he detailed how he was presented with relevant evidence to surveillance of Trump and his associates that took place shortly after the election, and continued well into January.
Nunes said he has, “confirmed on numerous occasions the intelligence community collected information about US citizens involved in he Trump transition. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in the intelligence community.”
“I want to be clear,” Nunes continued. “None of this surveillance was related to Russia, or the investigation of Russian activities, or of the Trump team.”
The question the public should be asking is if the surveillance of Trump did not involve any official investigation, what exactly were intelligence agencies looking for? Perhaps Obama and his allies were seeking some sort of “damaging” material that could be quietly leaked to media outlets friendly to their anti-Trump cause.
‘I’m actually alarmed’ conversations were captured, Nunes says . “What I’ve read bothers me,” he told reporters outside the White House after informing the president of his findings. “And I think it should bother the president himself and his team because I think some of it seems to be inappropriate.”
Nunes said he will be investigating who was aware of this surveillance, why it was not disclosed to congress, who requested and authorized the additional unmasking, and whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates and whether any laws, regulations or procedures were violated.
The key question here is who exactly directed the intelligence agencies to focus on Trump’s team if it was unrelated to any Russian investigations at the time.
Devin Nunes also said the FBI and CIA will comply with his March 15th letter and provide a full account of these surveillance activities. Shortly after the press conference Nunes stated he would share what he knows directly with President Trump and his team.
Responding to these surveillance revelations, Donald Trump said he feels “somewhat” vindicated after his Tweets accusing Barack Obama of approving “wiretaps” of Trump Tower.
— CNN (@CNN) March 22, 2017
Trump said after meeting with Nunes, “I very much appreciate the fact that they found what they found.”
Since Trump’s inflammatory Tweets, Democrats and critics have been on a non-stop campaign to discredit the president, claiming that he should be held accountable for his “false” accusations, with some on the left saying he was clearly caught “lying”.
After weeks of constant attacks on Trump, with some Democrats even calling for his impeachment over his wiretap tweets, it appears the president has been proved correct once again. Although critics will claim that there was not a physical “wiretap” on Trump’s phones, as he stated in his tweet, the fact of the matter is Trump put the word wiretap in quotation marks. Those familiar with the manner in which Trump speaks knows that he did not mean literal wiretaps, similar to surveillance that took place by law enforcement during the 70s, but rather he meant that broader surveillance took place.
Clearly Obama himself wasn’t physically engaged in the surveillance of Trump and his associates, however, the former president would undoubtedly be aware of such an intelligence operation and possibly would have ordered it himself.
Since Nunes states he was presented with information on this surveillance only days after requesting that anyone with evidence come forward, it would be logical to conclude someone within the intelligence community felt that Trump and the public should know the truth. The timing of this event is especially relevant, since it comes directly after James Comey claimed their was no surveillance of Donald Trump, which gave Democrats yet another rallying cry to attack the president.
Time will tell just how deep the surveillance of Trump and his team was, but the underlying fact that no one seems to be talking about is that this operation had nothing to do with the Russian investigation, indicating whoever was in charge was attempting to find damaging materials in which to hurt Trump’s credibility, or even looking for material to blackmail the president.
Another positive fact that deserves mentioning is after all of this spying and surveillance, nothing nefarious or illegal was found, or you can bet it would have been “leaked” to the press by now and they would promptly use it to try and destroy the Trump administration.