08:56 GMT06 March 2021
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    US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes learned about the surveillance of President Donald Trump's presidential campaign team from a whistleblower source, Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Ryan noted that he advised Nunes to add the newly discovered facts about the surveillance of Trump Tower to the existing investigation into Russia's alleged meddling in 2016 US presidential election.

    "He had told me that a whistleblower type person had given him some information that was new, that spoke to the last administration and part of this investigation," Ryan told CBS News.

    On March 22, Nunes told reporters that the information about Trump team was "incidentally collected" during the transition period. Following the announcement, the intelligence committee chair visited the White House and briefed the US president on the findings. Later, Nunes explained why he decided to brief the press and US President Donald Trump on new intelligence information before telling the ranking Democrat on the committee.

    These actions triggered immediate criticism of the panel's members, who have not been notified in advance about the additional documents related to Trump's wiretapping claim.

    On Tuesday, several prominent Democrats called on congressman Nunes to recuse himself from the probe into alleged Russia's election interference.

    On March 4, Trump took to Twitter to accuse Obama of having his Trump Tower headquarters' "wires tapped" prior to the 2016 presidential election, describing this as the former administration's "new low. The president went on to compare the alleged surveillance to McCarthyism and the Watergate scandal. The claims have been rejected by Obama's representative.

    The US House and Senate Intelligence Committees have found no credible evidence to support Trump's claims.


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    wiretapping, Devin Nunes, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, US
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