tv Devin Nunes Confirms Incidental Surveillance of Trump Transition Team CSPAN March 23, 2017 8:41am-8:58am EDT
committee chair devin nunes said that u.s. intelligence agencies intercepted communications from donald trump's transition team possibly including those from present electrode. this is from a briefing with capitol hill reporters. >> good morning, or good afternoon, everyone. as promise i'm going to continue to keep you apprised of new developments, some significant developments i think occurred over the course of the last few days with information that was brought to my attention. i'm going to just read a very brief statement and that's about all i can tell you what i want to keep people informed of what's happening. at our open hearing on monday i encourage anyone who has information about relative topics, including surveillance on president-elect trump or his
transition team to come forward and speak to the house intelligence committee. i also said while there was not a physical wiretap of trump tower, i was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against president trump and his associates. so for some recently confirmed on numerous occasions intelligence community incidentally collected information about u.s. citizens involved in the trump transition. details about u.s. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent for intel design widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. third, i have confirmed additional names of trump transition team members were unmasked. and for them finally i want to be clear, none of the surveillance was related to russia or the investigation of
russian activities or of the trump team. the house intelligence committee will thoroughly investigate surveillance and its subsequent dissemination to determine a few things here that are want to read off. who was aware of it, why it was not disclosed to congress, who requested an authorized the additional unmasking, whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on trump associates, and whether any laws, regulations or procedures were violated. i've asked the directors of fbi, nsa and cia to expeditiously comply with my march 15 letter that you are received a couple weeks ago, and to provide a ful account of these surveillance activities. i informed the speaker ryan this morning of this new information, and i will be going to the white house this afternoon to share what i know with the president and his team. before i get to questions i want
to say that as you know there is just what appears to be a terrorist attack in the united kingdom. obviously, very concerned and our thoughts and prayers go out to our strong friends and allies over across the pond. and with that i will open it up to questions. [inaudible] >> we don't know that yet, and that's what we need to get the information. i will say this. the nsa has been very, very helpful. they know how important these programs are. they are in constant communication with our team, and as you know they have partially complied with the request last week, and i expect them to hopefully get us more information by friday. i have spoke to admiral rogers about his concerns, and he wants to comply as quickly as he can. >> was the present also part of that collection?
>> yes. >> excuse me, let me just clarify. the president united states first of all -- were intercepted as -- >> i think what we have to, we talk about intelligence products we have to be very careful. from what i know right now it looks like incidental collection we don't know exactly how that was picked up, but were trying to get to the bottom of it. >> the present united states in personal communications, incidental collection, not specifically targeted? >> it's possible. we won't know until we get information on friday, and that's why, look, i think the nsa is going to comply. i am concern that we don't know whether not the fbi is going to comply. i've placed a call. i'm waiting to hopefully talk to director comey later today. [inaudible] >> hold on.
let me go here. [inaudible] spirit that's a great question. so i believe it was all done legally. i think was all obtained illegally. i think the question is, was it mast, you know, why was it unmasked it was unmasked? it appears we have additional information about unmasking,, revenue was on the dissemination was and why was it so far if the site-specific information about the trump transition? and it appears, just to give you one piece of information i think might be helpful, it appears most of this occurred from what i've seen in november, december and january. so that should probably -- during the transition, that's correct. [inaudible] >> you said the president
communications testing is impossible. was it a collected or is a possible? >> i just don't answer to that yet. [inaudible] >> look, i know there was incidental collection regarding president-elect and his team. i don't know if it was actually physically a phone call. spirit you don't know if it wasn't the president himself? >> i do not. [inaudible] >> i have seen my scene intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were i guess at least monitored and disseminate out in intelligence, and what appears to be raw, shouldn't say raw but intelligence reporting channels. that's the best i can say that until the he get all the informn that we have requested.
[inaudible] >> please talk into the cameras. >> i want to make sure i go over there and tell them what i know. >> does it involve them? [inaudible] >> not relate to the russian investigation? >> the information i've seen has nothing to do with russia or the russian investigation. so bluntly put, everything that i was able to view did not involve russia or any discussions with russians or any trouble people are other russians, so none of it has to do with russia. >> that doesn't mean that doesn't exist but we don't have it. >> give us a broader sense of what it was related to? >> look, a lot of it appears like, and looks to me like it was illegally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing. [inaudible]
>> i think from what i've seen it appears to be incidental collection. any other questions? spirit so what was found just to be clear, it was material that doesn't make any reference relate to russia, or do you think incidental? >> this information was legally brought to me by sources who thought that we should know it. it was, it had, there were no references whatsoever in everything i read, and it wasn't dozens, let's just leave it at that, dozens of reports and also mention of russia. [inaudible] >> that's correct. [inaudible] speed and i'm not going to get into the sources or when it arrived, but i wanted to brief the speaker which is what i did this morning. obviously i briefed, i put in calls to the directors.
spoken to the cia director and it is a direct and avoiding talk to director comey, and appointed head to the white house after the votes. space this is a chance for us to ask you what might've motivated the ban on electronics bs i just refer you did just that, i'm sorry. [inaudible] >> what we said from day one was there wasn't a physical wiretap of trump tower. i still have any evidence to show that at all, but clearly there is what i read was clearly significant information about present electoral and his team. there were additional names that were unmasked which is why we sent that letter down on the 15th. [inaudible] >> we don't know you know, it was not. this was information brought to me by sources and i'm hoping that nsa, fbi, cia give me
anything else of that they have. spirit do you plan to make any of it available now or in the future? >> you been publicly? it's all classified information, but look, we're hopeful that we're hopeful we're going to get the information that icing plus a lot more information on friday. [inaudible] >> was this surveillance for a criminal investigation? >> no. no. it was not, nothing to do with any criminal investigation. this was normal incidental collection from at least what i was able to read. [inaudible] >> that's correct. no, no, it was not criminal. it was normal for an surveillance. that's what it looked like to meet but let's wait until we get all the information.
>> about president trump but not necessarily his communications? >> that's what i've seen but it's hard to know into we get all the information. until we have time to talk to the appropriate agencies. [inaudible] >> all i was able to see were reports, reports on information that was collected. >> how can we be confident then that it doesn't get what the russian? >> because i read to them and there was no mention of russia. speaking specifically are we talking about his communications or -- >> no no, no. all legally collected foreign intelligence under fisa where there was incidental collection that then ended up in reporting channels and that was widely disseminated.
[inaudible] >> not at this time. spirit what is your response about paul manafort today showing he was -- [inaudible] is is going to be part of your speedy we're going to move on probably next week, i haven't talked to mr. schiff yet about the next phase. as you all know we've asked people to come in on their own. provide us information onto them. clearly happening based on some information is coming into us. then will move into the second stage of the investigation. at that point we will discuss who will bring in or likely be through depositions. [inaudible] >> previous routine surveillance. are you surprised at this discovery today? >> yeah, i am because we went through this. i'm actually a lot by this because we actually went through this about a year and half ago as religion members of congress.
you may -- you may remember there was report i think in the "wall street journal" that then we had have a whole series of hearings and then we had to have changes made to how congress is informed, if members of congress are picked up in surveillance. this looks like very similar to that, reminds me of what happened about a year and half ago. hold on let somebody else over here. [inaudible] >> i don't know. look, let, i've only, like i said i think dozens of reports. i don't know if there's more than that, but clearly i thought was important enough for me to at least tell all of you, inform the speaker and then i'm going to go to the white house and at least let them know what i've seen. because, you know, because i think they should, they need to see. if they don't have it they need to see it. [inaudible] speed on sorry, i get to questions at the same time. [inaudible]
>> there's a question that it's official ic information. [inaudible] >> i don't want to get into this for protections, protections of american citizens, as you can imagine. [inaudible] >> i'm not going to get into the exact country. [inaudible] >> no. i mean, we're doing our investigation, following the facts with elite and could i thought this was important enough to come publicly and say what i have so far. let me, someone who hasn't asked what and then have to run and vote. please, who hasn't asked one? [inaudible] spirit i don't know that, but what i've seen is postelection. >> is it the surveillance itself
that alarms you, or is it the dissemination or both? >> all of the above. i'm really bothered by the unmasking which is why we sent that letter on the 15th because of what to see what additional names were unmasked and now i know, there appears like they were additional names that were unmasked spirit what is it about the surveillance itself that alarms you, possibly just routine incidental collection on a foreign target? >> i guess what i read it bothers me that that would have any foreign intelligence value whatsoever, and why people would need to know that about president-elect trump or his transition team. [inaudible] spirit just to be clear with his communications collected inside of trump tower? >> we don't know. we don't know that. >> is there any way, how do you not know whether or not it is child's personal communications? would it be clear if -- >> when i get all the
information, the entirety from all the agencies that we can go through it and then we can go back and asked those types of questions. i would just be speculate at this point. i've got to get -- >> do you think right now the nsa or members of the intelligence community were spying on trumped? >> well, i guess it all depends on the definitions of spine. the bothers me enough. i'm not comfortable with it and want to make sure that the white house understands it and that's what i briefed the speaker this morning on this speed but do you think -- >> look, i'm not going to get into legal definitions here, but clearly i have a concern. all right, guys. i've got to run to the floor to vote. thank you so very much. >> congressman nunes later met with the president at the white house. he spoke to reporters after that meeting.