House Intelligence Chair apologizes but defends briefing president on intercepts

By  | 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims of wiretapping (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

The House intelligence committee chairman has privately apologized to his Democratic colleagues, but is still defending his decision to openly discuss and brief President Donald Trump on typically secret intercepts that he says swept up communications of the president's transition team.

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes' decision to disclose the information before talking to committee members outraged Democrats and raised questions about the independence of the panel's probe of Russian interference into the 2016 election and possible contacts between Trump associates and Russia.

Nunes says it was a judgment call on his part and that some decisions are right and some are wrong. A congressional aide said the chairman apologized to Democrats and pledged to work with them in the future and share information related to the investigation.

___

8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is blasting "totally biased and fake news reports of the so-called Russia story."

Trump took to Twitter Thursday to express his frustration. He singled out reports on NBC and ABC, saying "such dishonesty!"

The FBI director said earlier this week that there is an investigation underway into whether Trump's campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election.

The president has refused to acknowledge the probe, dismissed it as fake news and blamed it on Democrats.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Wednesday that he had seen "more than circumstantial evidence" that Trump associates colluded with Russia.

___

8:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending his explosive claims that his predecessor wiretapped his New York skyscraper.

In an interview with Time Magazine, Trump says "wiretapping was in quotes. What I'm talking about is surveillance."

Trump noted that the chairman of the House intelligence committee said Wednesday that communications of Trump and his transition team may have been scooped up by American intelligence officials monitoring other targets.

There is no evidence that Trump Tower was wiretapped.

In the interview, Trump defended other statements that have been debunked, including his claims that millions of people voted illegally in the November election. He said he is just citing news sources.

He concluded the interview with: "I guess, I can't be doing so badly, because I'm president, and you're not."

___

7:50 a.m.

Sen. John McCain says it is "disturbing" that the chairman of the House intelligence committee is publicly airing often-secret information.

McCain spoke Thursday on NBC's "Today Show," responding to Republican Rep. Devin Nunes' statements that Trump transition officials' communications may have been scooped up in legal surveillance and then improperly distributed.

McCain said no new information has come out to refute FBI Director James Comey, who this week rejected President Donald Trump's claims that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the election.

Of the investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with Russia, McCain said that in situations like this: "There's always additional information that comes out before it's concluded."

Looking ahead, McCain says that a special committee is needed to review the matter.

___

3:30 a.m.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee says private communications of Donald Trump and his presidential transition team may have been scooped up by American intelligence officials monitoring other targets and improperly distributed throughout spy agencies.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes' extraordinary public airing Wednesday of often-secret information brought swift protests from Democrats.

The committee's ranking Democrat, Adam Schiff, renewed his party's calls for an independent probe of Trump campaign links to Russia in addition to the GOP-led panel's investigation. Schiff also said he had seen "more than circumstantial evidence" that Trump associates colluded with Russia.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 
We welcome comments and civil discussions. powered by Disqus