Joe Biden Also Wants a Select Committee to Handle the Russia Investigation

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Fox News host Shep Smith on Thursday fact-checked Donald Trump's assertion that Rep. Devin Nunes "vindicated" his dubious wiretap allegation again Barack Obama, noting the House Intelligence Committee chairman in no way substantiated the president's claim.

The "normal, formal surveillance" provided "significant information" about Trump and his team during the transition period.

The Federalist expanded on this approach in "Democrats Shouldn't Dismiss Nunes's Spying Claims So Quickly". And acts of special services were not connected with suspicion of possible ties with Russian Federation and investigations on this matter. Nunes struggled to explain why what he had discovered was important and, on a more basic level, to communicate what it was that he had discovered in the first place.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes apologized to the panel's Democrats Thursday for how he disclosed information about surveillance related to Donald Trump, two committee aides said.

As American citizens who were not the subjects of the investigation, members of the Trump team have a right to privacy.

Nunes' allegation was also trumpeted by Russian propaganda outlets.

"From what I've read, there seems to be some level of surveillance action - perhaps legal, but I don't know that it's right, " he said. "But that's not what the chairman said yesterday". Before that, it was revealed that the Trump campaign authorized a foreign policy adviser's business trip to Moscow over the summer. Some have noted that some "incidental collection" should be expected to occur of any transition team - for example, if members were taking congratulatory calls or scheduling future meetings with foreign leaders.

Nunes's actions weren't just a breach of decorum, say veteran staffers of former House and Senate intelligence committees.

By revealing the existence of intelligence intercepts involving the president's aides, the California Republican gave Trump some fresh ammunition for his so-far unsubstantiated claims of being surveilled.

"The Nunes charge.is that it was widespread and systematic", Krauthammer.

What's unusual, according to intelligence experts, is that there's nothing scandalous in that.

He said that "additional names" of Trump transition officials had been unmasked in the intelligence reports and indicated that Trump's communications may have been swept up as well.

"That's what the intel community specializes in - spying on foreigners!"

"This is going to be another negotiation with the Republicans that I hope goes smoothly", Himes told CBS. However, the White House ordered the Congress to check this information.

"Nine current and former (Obama administration) officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters".

That surveillance had nothing to do with Russian Federation. Given all of the scrutiny on the Trump team's foreign ties to and business interests in a range of countries like China, it makes a difference which ones he was talking about.

There was divided reaction among Republicans to Nunes' actions and to the significance of his disclosure. What are they actually going to get?

Maintaining the same veneer he has all week about the investigation, Schiff responded, "I don't want to go into specifics but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and very much worthy of investigation...so that is what we ought to do". Anthony, experts tell us that these conversations, these intercepts, would not have been circulated in the intelligence community if they had been benign.

"This is cherry-picking information and then releasing it publicly", she said.

"He's a man of character and high integrity and I haven't had the chance to talk to him", Yoho said on "New Day".

The incident is raising questions among Democrats, and even a few Republicans, of whether Nunes can remain in his post, and whether he can preside over a nonpartisan inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the US election and related leaks of intelligence. Sean Hannity tweeted that it "confirms SURVEILLANCE VS @POTUS".

Clearly, there will be a lot more to come on this issue.

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