US spy agencies monitored Trump communications: Nunes

2017-03-23 06:04
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A senior Republican lawmaker, Devin Nunes, the Republican chair of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that US spy agencies scooped up the communications of members of Donald Trump's presidential transition team late last year, possibly including those of Trump himself.

The allegation made by Nunes could bolster Trump's heretofore unsupported claims that he was wiretapped by US intelligence.

Monitored legally

Nunes said he had been provided information showing the collected communications had nothing to do with investigations into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia and had minimal intelligence value.

He said the communications were apparently monitored legally and that the collection of information on the Trump team was "incidental" - meaning they were not the focus of the surveillance.

Yet the information collected, spanning the November-January period in between Trump's election victory and his inauguration, was "widely disseminated" in US intelligence circles, he said.

"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition," Nunes told a media conference.

"None of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team."

Nunes suggested those involved in the surveillance had violated rules requiring that any information on the US persons involved be masked in intelligence reports.

He questioned why it was not masked when the surveillance reports had "little or no intelligence value."

Russian interference

US intelligence community rules dictate that information on US citizens picked up incidentally in surveillance must be scrubbed or masked in intelligence reports.

Nunes would not say whether Trump's own communications were collected.

The lawmaker's statement came amid recriminations over spy agencies' listening to phone calls between former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn and Moscow's ambassador in Washington, which has become part of a sprawling probe into Russia's role in the US election.

Nunes' Intelligence Committee is probing Russian interference in the election and Flynn's activities.

It also came days after the heads of the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation repudiated Trump's claims that his Trump Tower in New York had been wiretapped under order by then-president Barack Obama.

Nunes did not say who did the monitoring or name anyone in the Obama administration as responsible for spreading the unmasked information.


Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  2016 presidential elections

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.