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Kennedy: House Intelligence chairman must recuse himself

Kennedy: House Intelligence chairman must recuse himself

Nunes said he received intelligence reports indicating us intelligence "incidentally collected" information about Trump transition team members - and possibly the then-president-elect himself - while conducting foreign surveillance. Hours later, CNN reported that the F.B.I. had evidence that suggests Trump associates "communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign".

He also said the committee had made a decision to ask more questions of FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, who appeared at an open hearing on Monday.

However, Mr Nunes said he was concerned that the names of members of Mr Trump's transition team were "unmasked" during the surveillance of foreign individuals.

"I'm actually alarmed by it", Nunes said, later adding he could not confirm whether his revelation meant Trump was "spied on".

Both Schiff and Nunes also addressed the issue of President Trump's baseless claims that former President Obama had his campaign under illegal surveillance.

Nunes said Friday that the committee may be about to receive some of the documents it requested from the NSA about the "unmasking" of identities of USA citizens incidentally swept up in US surveillance.

"Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong decision, " he said.

Nunes stated categorically that none of the information in the "dozens" of documents he saw had anything to do with Russian Federation or any criminal investigation.

Yet the information collected, spanning the November-January period in between Trump's election victory and his inauguration, was "widely disseminated" in United States intelligence circles, he said.

More news: Russian ex-MP Voronenkov shot dead at Kiev hotel

A week that began with a House Intelligence Committee hearing that confirmed that the FBI has launched a counter-intelligence investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation ended with "deeply disturbing signs" that the congressional probe into Russian Federation election meddling is breaking apart.

But what was clear was that he took the information to President Trump and the White House before telling his committee, and Democratic members on that panel.

In a declassified report released in January, the intelligence community concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped the NY billionaire win the White House, an allegation dismissed both by Moscow and Trump.

"I think this is a serious mistake", Schiff told reporters.

In a statement to reporters Wednesday, Nunes had announced there were "dozens of reports" confirming members of Trump's transition had their communications "incidentally collected" by intelligence agencies.

The move drew immediate criticism from the panel's top Democrat, Representative Adam Schiff of California, who accused Nunes in a Twitter posting of an "attempt to choke off public info".

"Most of the names in the intercepts were in fact masked, and the chairman's concern was that he could still figure out the identities of some of the parties even though the names were masked", Schiff told reporters.

"We welcome his testimony before the committee", he said. "The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians or he's going to act as a surrogate of the White House because he can not do both", Schiff said.

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