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Chuck Schumer Demands House Dump Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes After White House Deflects Questions

Deadline logo Deadline 3/27/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer today called for House Speaker Paul Ryan to remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Schumer’s remarks, on the floor of the Senate, came as Nunes’ office confirmed this morning that he viewed on the White House grounds confidential information about intelligence gathering that swept up Trump associates, the night before he went to the White House to inform them about intelligence reports to which he had gained access.

Nunes has not conveyed information about the documents to members of his committee, according to members who say he canceled today’s committee meeting.

TV news outlets are huffing and puffing as they try to keep up with today in Trumpocalypse; headlines also include President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner volunteering to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his contact with Russian figures, including a honcho at a state-owned bank, during the Trump administration transition period.

Ryan said in a statement today that he still has confidence in Nunes as chairman of the House committee.

Schumer’s demand came shortly after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, in one of the zippier pressers of the Trump administration to date, declined to rule out that Nunes had gotten the information he revealed to the White House, from the White House. “I can’t say 100% that I know anything,” Spicer deflected.

“Anything is possible,” Spicer added.

Nunes confirmed this morning that he was on White House grounds the day before he invited himself to the White House to tell Trump what he had learned. And a rep for Nunes went further in a statement, saying Nunes was at the National Security Council offices, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, situated on White House grounds, in order to view classified information in a secure room. Nunes’ behavior last week had led to speculation he’d been providing information by the Trump administration in order to provide cover to Trump, who has accused former President Barack Obama of ordering his Trump Tower office wiretapped during the election cycle. Nunes has declined to rule out he got the intel from the White House, saying he wants to protect his source.

Nunes outraged committee Dems on Friday when he canceled Tuesday’s public hearing, at which former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and acting Attorney General Sally Yates all had agreed to testify publicly before his committee on what they knew about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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