COLLUSION

Report: Two White House Officials Gave Nunes Intel on ‘Incidental’ Surveillance

Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) leaves the House floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 29, 2017.

Two White House officials reportedly provided House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes with the intelligence information he claimed as proof there was “incidental” surveillance of Trump associates prior to inauguration. Nunes has been under fire over his credibility and integrity surrounding the committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia. The California-based lawmaker had been unable to explain why he decided to travel to the White House the night before making the revelation about “incidental” surveillance, fueling concerns that he might have colluded with the White House to release information that allegedly vindicates Trump for his own unverified claims he was “wiretapped” by President Obama. The officials were identified to the Times as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, an intelligence director at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a national security lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office and former intelligence committee staffer. Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said in a statement that Nunes “will not confirm or deny speculation about his source’s identity, and he will not respond to speculation from anonymous sources.”