United States spy agencies monitored Trump communications: Nunes

Devin Nunes: 'I Don't Know' How Many Names Were Unmasked in 'Incidentally Collected' Communications
Manafort Is Willing to Talk With House Committee, Nunes Says

25 March, 2017

Manaford has come under scrutiny for work he's done for figures tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Nunes also announced that a March 28 committee hearing is being postponed to allow renewed questioning by the panel of Comey and National Security Agency director Mike Rogers.

"There's additional unmasking of names, which I think is totally inappropriate. and then you have the issue of the names that were put into these intelligence reports", Nunes said.

Although Nunes has disavowed Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, he has given credence to current president's theory that he and his team have been the victims of surveillance by a "deep state" loyal to the previous administration. He said it was possible Mr. Trump's own communications were also intercepted and disseminated among USA intelligence agencies. On Wednesday the Associated Press revealed that Manafort signed a $10m (£8m) annual contract with Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to influence influence U.S. politics, business and news coverage to "greatly benefit the Putin government".

Comey and Rogers testified before the committee in a public hearing on Monday and disclosed the existence of an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the election.

On Wednesday, Nunes held a surprise press conference to say he'd seen evidence that the Trump transition team had been captured in "incidental surveillance", which would not be illegal, but which Trump interpreted as "somewhat vindicating" his widely-rejected claims.

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Congressman Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Mr Manafort's lawyer had contacted the committee to offer to appear.

"Nothing - zero. He's provided absolutely nothing", ranking member Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said.

Later, in an interview with MSNBC, Mr Schiff said evidence "that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of an investigation" exists of Trump associates colluding with Russian Federation as it interfered in last year's election.

The Top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (R-CA) expressed his displeasure in a statement, and at his own news conference.

To the extent that Americans are mentioned in these documents, those names are supposed to be blacked out in any intelligence report that is circulated around the government, unless the identities are needed to understand the intelligence.

But it is far more likely, they say, that what Nunes was talking about was surveillance of foreigners talking to foreigners, who were speaking about Trump and his aides.

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