Nunes: I Had ‘Duty’ To Brief Trump Since He’s ‘Taking Lot Of Heat’ In Media

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) said on Thursday night that he felt an obligation to tell President Donald Trump about “incidentally collected” information on Trump and his associates from the intelligence community because the President has been criticized in the media.

“It’s clear that I would be concerned if I was the president, and that’s why I wanted him to know, and I felt like I had a duty and obligation to tell him because, as you know, he’s taking a lot of heat in the news media,” Nunes told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“I think to some degree there are some things he should look at to see whether in fact the collection was proper or not,” Nunes added.

The congressman held two news conferences on Wednesday to tell reporters that he had received a report showing that the intelligence community had “incidentally collected” information on Trump and his transition team in November, December, and January. Nunes said that the intelligence was unrelated to any Russia investigation, and that the collection was legal.

The intelligence chairman shared few details on the intelligence report, but Trump and conservatives quickly latched onto Nunes’ comments, using the revelation to claim that Trump’s baseless accusation that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower was proven correct.

However, it’s not even clear that the intelligence community picked up communications from Trump and his associates.

“He said he’ll have to get all the documents he requested from the [intelligence community] about this before he knows for sure,” a spokesman for Nunes told ABC News on Thursday.

During the Thursday night interview, Hannity told Nunes that “surveillance took place” of Trump and his transition team and asked what else the Intelligence chairman knew. Nunes did not correct Hannity at that point to say that he was unsure whether communications from Trump and his associates were picked up.

Watch the interview via Fox News:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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