On Thursday, the White House reported that it would be sharing information with congressional investigators that showed that the Obama administration may have incidentally intercepted communications from members of the Trump transition team.
The announcement came the same day that The New York Times revealed that House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes of California got his information about the surveillance from two White House aides.
“The officials’ description of the intelligence is in line with Mr. Nunes’s characterization of the material, which he said was not related to the Russia investigations when he first disclosed its existence,” The Times reported.
According to The Times, Nunes says that “he met his source on the grounds of the White House. He said he needed a secure location where people with security clearances could legally view classified information, though such facilities could also be found in the Capitol building and at other locations across Washington.”
The afternoon of the day that article showed up, the White House declared that members of the House and Senate intelligence committees would be able to view those selfsame documents.
On Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters “a letter was transmitted just recently to the ranking member and chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that said, ‘In the ordinary course of business, national security staff discovered documents that we believe are in response to your March 15, 2017, letter to the intelligence community seeking ‘documents necessary to determine whether information collected on US persons was mishandled and leaked.’”
“We have and will invite the Senate and House ranking members and chairmen up to the White House to view that material in accordance with their schedule.”
Indeed, that certainly changes things.
President Trump’s White House certainly managed to get out in front of this story with the revelation that they’d be sharing the information with the committees, basically calling the bluff of Democrats who claimed that it was half-truths.
Of course, this isn’t going to stop the politicization of the Russia investigation and wiretapping claims by the Democrats. However, how America responds is going to be a different matter — especially when the White House is sharing the information.