Nunes ‘Unmasking’ Report Vindicates Trump Claims on Surveillance
House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced on Wednesday that he had learned that members of President Donald Trump’s transition team had been under surveillance by the Obama administration, that individual names had been “unmasked” by the intelligence community, and that those names had been leaked to the media.
Nunes’s information — which he said he would deliver to the White House later — vindicates the bulk of Trump’s claims earlier this month.
Nunes said that while there was no direct “wiretap” by President Barack Obama of Trump Tower, there was indeed surveillance — perhaps collected incidentally — of people close to Trump, possibly including Trump himself.
Much of that had been suspected, on the basis of mainstream media reports, but Rep. Nunes reported something new: that the surveillance did not involve the ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) inquiry into Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Indeed, none of the surveillance had intelligence value, he said.
“I believe it was all done legally,” Nunes told a press conference. The question, he said, was why names of those swept up in the surveillance had been leaked. The collection of the intelligence appeared to have been legal, but the leaking may have been illegal.