Reports that the White House funneled classified information on intercepts of President Donald Trump’s transition team to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) are mostly “innuendo,” he said Friday.
“Those reports are mostly wrong,” the embattled lawmaker told his hometown TV station KSEE.
The New York Times and Washington Post identified three White House officials that reportedly helped Nunes gain access to intelligence reports that he said showed Trump and his transition team were swept up in U.S. surveillance of foreign nationals. He has confirmed he met with a source, who he previously said was an intelligence, not a White House, official, on White House grounds the day before he went public with those allegations.
Nunes told KSEE that just because people in the White House might have been aware of the reports, they weren’t necessarily “the source of my information.”
The California Republican’s handling of the situation has prompted calls from every Democratic member of his committee, as well as at least one Republican lawmaker, for his recusal from the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
Nunes doesn’t see the big deal: As he told KSEE, all Republicans in Congress likely voted for Trump, so none of them are any less close to the administration than he is (Nunes also served on Trump’s transition team’s executive committee).
According to Nunes, there’s a “tough job” to be done and “there’s nobody else better than me to be doing it.”