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Rep. Schiff Calls On House Intel Chair To Recuse Himself From Russia Probe

A Nunes spokesman, Jack Langer, also told the Los Angeles Times that it wasn't a White House staffer, the Times reported.

Cohen-Watnick was almost fired earlier in the month at the request of National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, but was overruled by US President Donald Trump after he appealed to White House advisers Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, Trump's Jewish son-in-law.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Times identified the White House official as "Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council".

The New York Times reports that two White House officials "played a role" in giving information to now-embattled House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. In a breach of protocol, Nunes relayed that information to Trump himself before telling members of his committee, with which the intel has still not been shared.

Schiff confirmed that he has been invited to view materials related to the alleged incidental surveillance of Trump and associates. White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who hasn't detailed Nunes' visit to the White House last week, cited Nunes' comments to Bloomberg on Monday. Intelligence agencies routinely monitor the communications of foreign officials living in the USA, though the identities of Americans swept up in that collection is to be protected. Days later, Rep. Nunes announced that he had evidence, via an unnamed source, showing that Trump and his aides' communications had been collected through legal means but then "widely disseminated" throughout government agencies. But Democrats cast doubts on the timing, and questioned White House's intentions in making the information available to a broader set of lawmakers.




After his press conference, Nunes briefed President Trump on the findings without touching base with the rest of the House Intelligence Committee.

He added that his "smell test" remark was based on Nunes's words at the time.

The California Democrat said he had a "great sense of nostalgia" seeing Senate intelligence committee leaders holding a news conference together on Wednesday, saying that he had that relationship with Nunes up until last week. Schiff today said Nunes has yet to inform him what was the info, where he saw it, and who showed it to him.

Russian Federation mounted a campaign of "propaganda on steroids" seeking to influence the 2016 US presidential election, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says, listing several areas of concern about possible links to Republican Trump's campaign.

A spokesman for Ryan later said the speaker was not aware of Nunes' source and continues to have "full confidence" in the congressman's ability to run the Russian Federation investigation.

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