Members of the intelligence community "incidentally collected" communications from the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.
House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced "dozens" of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were "widely disseminated."
He said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia or Russians and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower -- as President Trump has suggested. Nunes also was unsure if then President-elect Trump was captured by the surveillance, which occurred in November, December and January.
“I recently confirmed on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected intelligence,” Nunes said.
The revelations could at least partially back up some allegations made by Trump earlier this month, in which he tweeted that former President Barack Obama had "wiretapped" him, though top lawmakers have sharply disputed those claims.
Nunes said he told House Speaker Paul Ryan earlier Wednesday and was set to tell Trump and the White House later in the afternoon.
"There’s a lot of questions that I think his statement raises, and that I hope we can get to the bottom of,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.
He said the NSA had been "very helpful" during the investigation, however, he was unsure if "the FBI is going to comply."
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