Nunes: Today I was briefed the President on the concerns I had about incidental collections and how it relates to President elect Trump and his transition team . . . . will be more information on Friday . . . . the NSA is cooperating very very well . . . . the reports that I was able to see did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russian investigation or ties to the Trump team.
Why do you think your announce is appropriate in view of Trump's alleged involvement?
Answer: Because what I saw has nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with the Russian investigation . . . has everything to do with possible surveillance activity and the President needs to know that these intelligence reports are out there and I have a duty to tell him that.
Were these investigations under FISA orders?
It appears so. I don't want to get too much into those details, but these were intelligence reports and it brings up a lot of concerns about whether things were properly minimalized or not , but I will tell you I have only seen some, they are in the dozens . . . . and we do not know who ordered the unmasking of additional names.
Are you suggesting that this was for political purposes?
What I have read bothers me and should and I think should bother the President himself and his team because I think some of it seems to be inappropriate . . . .
Does this go beyond the surveillance of General Flynn?
Well, it definitely goes beyond what happened to General Flynn. Now, of course, we don't actually know yet what officially happened to General Flynn. We just know that his name leaked out. But we don't know how it was picked up yet. That is one of the things we asked about in our March 15 letter was for the NIA, CIA and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done. The NSA is being cooperative but so far, the FBI has not told us whether or not they are going to respond to our March 15 letter, which is now a couple of weeks old.
Does this go to what the President was talking.
What I have read seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don't know if it is right and I don't know if the American people would be comfortable with what I've read , but let us get all the reports . . .
Does this mean that the President was correct in what he charges?
It is possible. (!!!!!!!!!!!)
Was Trump's phone wiretapped, then?
Did Obama order any order any kind of surveillance of trum?
We don't know who sent the taskings, if the taskings were changed into what went into these intelligence reports. But we are going to try to find that out . . . . . incidental collections about where the President himself and others in the Trump transition team were clearly put into intelligence reports that ended up at this White House and across a whole bunch of other agencies. And I thought it was important that the President should know this.
Note: I recorded the general questions but took pains to reproduce Chairman Nunes answers word for word ~ editor.
Update: Keep in mind that on March 1, of 2017, we learned that Obama left a trail in formation concerning Trump and Russia in unclassified files across several intel agencies. Why? Axios.com has this answer: "Why they did it: to 'leave a clear trail' for investigators, and preserve intelligence that might otherwise have been swept aside once Trump took office." Combine this with the Jan 16, 2017 Executive Memo that allowed sharing between federal agencies more easily done, and you have increased the opportunity to smear President Trump . . . . which is exactly what has happened.