The Republican chairman of the US House of Representatives intelligence committee says some of President Donald Trump’s personal communications may have been caught up in “incidental” surveillance involving a foreign power in the months after the election
Representative Devin Nunes said the information which he said was obtained from a source he did not identify in any way, was collected legally in November, December and January – from the November 8 election to Trump’s January 20 inauguration – but the names of some Trump officials involved had been “unmasked” and the communications widely disseminated within spy agencies.
Watch: Donald Trump says he feels “somewhat” vindicated by lawmakers statement on surveillance
Democrats and some Republicans have been sparring over Trump posting on Twitter on March 4 that his New York home Trump Tower was “wiretapped” by his predecessor, President Barack Obama. Through a spokesman, Obama denied the accusation.
White House officials, and Republicans including Nunes, have since said that Trump meant general surveillance instead of what Nunes referred to as “physical” wiretapping.
Trump said on Wednesday that he felt “somewhat” vindicated by Nunes’ announcement.
Nunes made his announcement at a news conference two days after the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, confirmed to a hearing of his committee that it was conducting a criminal investigation of potential links between Trump associates and Russia, as Moscow sought to influence the 2016 US election to benefit Trump.
Watch: Schiff says he has “grave concerns” over ability of Intelligence Committee’s ability to conduct credible investigation
Watch: White House Stands by Claim Obama Tapped Trump Phone