House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes' Republican and Democratic colleagues have examined the same reports he obtained last month, according to CNN - and have yet to see any evidence that the Obama administration engaged in illegal surveillance.
The documents seen by lawmakers at the National Security Agency's headquarters show no evidence that President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, acted illegally by requesting that the names of some USA citizens be unmasked during investigations into Russia's alleged involvement in the USA election, CNN reported on Tuesday.
"Now President Trump himself said last week said that she may have broken the law", he continued, "but Don, multiple sources have reviewed the documents that Nunes saw flatly say they do not back up the president's claim that she has broken the law". This follows a week of attacks on Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, over allegations that she requested the "unmasking" of Trump transition officials swept up in surveillance of foreign nationals and then leaked that information.
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He later admitted obtaining the documents from a confidential source on White House grounds one day earlier. That lawmaker called on the White House to declassify them. While Rice hasn't said whether she unmasked Flynn, the leak of his conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak where he discussed USA sanctions led Flynn to resign three weeks into his term. He also plans to review whether Obama's National Security Council and White House counsel collected and distributed the intelligence for reasons unrelated to foreign intelligence.
Still, some members of Congress continue to have concerns about the justification given for the unmasking requests and the standards for the intelligence community to grant such requests, which reveal the private data of United States persons mentioned in intelligence reports based on routine intelligence collection aimed at foreign nationals.
"When you look at Susan Rice and what's going on, and so many people are coming up to me and apologizing now", Trump said. "It's such an important story for our country and the world", he added, calling it, "truly one of the big stories of our time".
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Asked by the Times if he believed Rice's actions were criminal Trump responded, "Do I think?"
Rice told MSNBC that she was carrying out routine duties in making the requests, and did so to understand the "context" or "importance of the report".
"Tonight both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides are casting new doubt on those claims that Devin Nunes made that Obama administration officials had improperly requested the names of US individuals that had been redacted in intelligence documents", Lemon explained.
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Also, the consumer price index-based inflation rose to a 5-month high of 3.81 per cent in March against 3.65 per cent in February. This came after industrial production in January registered a 0.3 percent monthly increase in both the eurozone and the EU.
Nunes last week abruptly recused himself temporarily from the Russian Federation investigation as the House Ethics Committee announced it is investigating whether he revealed classified materials, but he is still serving as chairman of the panel.