Demands for proof of the wiretapping rained down on Spicer's head while his explanation that the issue was a matter for the appropriate committees of Congress to investigate did little to quell the storm.
In September, Flynn weighed in on the implications of immunity on NBC's "Meet the Press", criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her associates in the FBI's investigation into her use of a private email server. Indeed, the reports show that the agency ― charged with coordinating US military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts around the world ― had employees instead focusing on undoing political damage to Trump from his evidence-free tweet. But Nunes cancelled this week's hearings, and has almost paralyzed the committee's work.
Schiff noted, for example, that the House committee still has not received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on whether Flynn had declared in his background check application that he had acted as a paid agent for Turkey previous year, a declaration he belatedly made to the Justice Department March 8, more than three weeks after he'd resigned as Trump's national security adviser.
On Thursday, the White House invited Schiff to see the material.
However, according to The Times report, officials with knowledge of the documents report that much of what Nunes saw was actually reports about third parties in foreign countries - ambassadors and other officials - talking about Trump and how to gain access to or influence with his inner circle. The materials that he shared with the White House, it turned out, were produced for him, at least in part, by - yes - the White House.
Spicer went on to openly complain about the media not discussing revelations over roles the Obama administration may have had in terms of both Russian Federation and leaking information about the current president.More news: Raiders reportedly not welcome in Oakland for 2019 season
Officials have expressed an interest in having more raw intelligence sent to the president for his daily briefings instead of an analysis of information compiled by the agencies, according to current and former US officials.
"Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes ... specifically of Trump transition team members ... is highly suspect and questionable", an intelligence source told Fox News. "And fourth and finally, I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia, or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team", he added. They said the documents made no mention of the FBI's probe into Russian Federation, which is consistent with what Nunes told reporters at the presser disclosing the existence of the intelligence reports. Veterinarian Joseph Butterweck says he supports Nunes and believes the congressman did nothing wrong. Devin Nunes and the White House initially denied that his newly discovered information purportedly supporting an unfounded Trump "wire tapping" claim had come from the White House. That's a far cry from confirming Trump's claims that President Barack Obama illegally wiretapped his phones.
Schiff said in a statement he would review those documents at the White House Friday, but also called on the White House "to make all these documents available to the full House and Senate Intelligence Committees".
Nunes, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has come under fire in recent weeks for communications with the White House that critics have deemed inappropriate. He's become a controversial figure in intelligence circles, but Trump made a decision to keep him on over the objections of the CIA and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, according to the officials.
The current and former officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the sensitive matters. Trump and White House strategist Steve Bannon reportedly personally intervened to keep the poorly-regarded Cohen-Watnick on the NSC, after National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster sought to replace him earlier this month. House Speaker Paul Ryan, in an interview with "CBS This Morning" that aired Thursday, said Nunes told him a "whistleblower-type person" provided the information.