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In a piece also published Tuesday, Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker asserted that the White House has been coordinating with Nunes.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer confirmed to reporters last week that Ivanka Trump was attempting to obtain security clearance - a move which he attributed to her desire to "ensure that she complies with certain rules". "If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russian connection", he suggested.

However, others have called for a full public inquiry or a special prosecutor to be appointed, believing that a non-congressional hearing is the only way to undertake a full review into Russia's interference in the election, which is likely to include an investigation into alleged links between Trump campaign officials and the Kremlin.

"I think it will actually, I think it's going to happen, because we've all been promising - Democrat, Republican - we've all been promising that to the American people", said Trump. It doesn't help that Nunes was also part of Trump's transition team before he entered the Oval Office.

The recusal uproar follows the revelation that Nunes secretly paid a visit to White House grounds to meet a source who he says showed him evidence indicating that some Trump transition aides were "incidentally" picked up in foreign surveillance, and possibly "unmasked", to use the intel lingo.

The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff, charged on Tuesday that the White House had interfered behind the scenes to stop Yates from appearing.

Ivanka Trump at a meeting with women small business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 27, 2017.

Yates and Brennan had made clear to government officials by Thursday that their testimony to the committee would probably contradict some statements that White House officials had made, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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But President Trump said last Wednesday he felt somewhat "vindicated" by the announcement.

The White House said Tuesday that it did not interfere with Yates' plans to testify.

Ivanka Trump joined the White House staff officially after concerns were raised about her taking a more informal position. "Ivanka's decision reflects both her commitment to compliance with federal ethics standards and her openness to opposing points of view", Gorelick said.

O'Neil declined to comment Tuesday, and a Justice Department spokeswoman did not return a message seeking comment.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate's Intelligence Committee, said that White House meddling is not helping to "remove the cloud that increasingly is getting darker over the administration".

Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher and Erica Werner contributed to this report.

Chairman Nunes is clearly slow-walking his committee's investigation, he has cancelled important public hearings with key witnesses, and he has failed to share information with his committee members while keeping President Donald Trump fully informed. This fueled speculation that a White House official had provided the information to Nunes to bolster the president's tweeted claim that President Barack Obama illegally ordered surveillance, which had been repudiated by the nation's highest intelligence and law enforcement officials, as well as by Nunes himself. "This was an elaborately choreographed gag order on Sally Yates".


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