Since sparking a political conflagration by tweeting, in the wee hours of March 4, that his phones at Trump Tower were wiretapped by Barack Obama prior to the 2016 election, President Donald Trump has insisted he'd eventually be vindicated. According to Trump and his supporters, that vindication arrived Wednesday.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) called reporters to the Capitol Visitor Center to solemnly claim that the intelligence community “incidentally collected” information about Trump and some members of his transition team following the election. That information, he said, was collected apart from the FBI's investigation into whether there was any "cooperation" between Trump's campaign and Russian government officials in their efforts to meddle in the U.S. election.
Nunes said the information was collected legally, but his vague and cagey claims were seized upon in a rush of breathless, speculative, and, in some cases, incorrect reports that claimed Trump was telling the truth about having his "wires tapped" all along. The Obama administration spied on the then-President elect, these news outlets agreed (the cat was well out of the bag before Nunes’ office conceded Thursday afternoon that he didn’t know “for sure” that intelligence agencies actually collected communications from Trump or his staffers.)
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