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White House Quiet on Report Two Trump Officials are Nunes’ Sources

  • VOA News

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, March 30, 2017.

The Trump administration has declined to comment on a report that two White House officials reportedly provided the leader of a congressional investigation with intelligence that showed members of the Trump presidential transition team were caught up in incidental foreign surveillance by U.S. spy agencies.

The New York Times newspaper reports the White House "sources" are Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a senior director at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, an attorney at the White House Counsel's Office.

When asked about the report at his daily media briefing Thursday, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters, "We are not going to start commenting on one-off anonymous sources."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. is pursued by reporters as he arrives for a weekly meeting of the Republican Conference with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership, March 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. is pursued by reporters as he arrives for a weekly meeting of the Republican Conference with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership, March 28, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes met a source on White House grounds before making his disclosure about the intelligence reports last week that Donald Trump's transition team was caught up in the incidental surveillance, according to Nunes' spokesman, Jack Langer. Langer said Monday that Nunes wanted "to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source."

Previously, Nunes would not say where he met his source, and has not revealed the identity of the source.

Nunes spoke with reporters and the president about the material last week without informing any of the other 21 members of the House Intelligence Committee, angering Democrats on the committee who questioned Nunes' credibility. Nunes later apologized to the committee for not first telling them about the information.

The report that White House officials assisted in the disclosure of the intelligence reports is likely to trigger more criticism that Nunes, a former Trump campaign official, has been too willing to assist the Trump administration rather than conduct an objective, independent investigation.

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