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Obama White House received foreign intelligence that included discussions by Trump and aides

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The Saboteur-In-Chief was listening in, just as President Trump has charged. “What I’ve read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know if the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read,” said Nunes. The American people shouldn’t be comfortable with this, and those responsible should be prosecuted. But the Democrats will do everything they can to keep that from happening.

“Intelligence Reports Reveal Improper Political Surveillance of Trump, Transition Team,” by Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon, March 23, 2017:

A House intelligence committee investigation took a dramatic shift this week after newly disclosed intelligence reports suggested the Obama administration improperly gathered and disseminated secret electronic communications from President Trump and his transition team prior to inauguration.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, indicated that the administration used its foreign intelligence gathering authority to spy on the discussions of Trump and his transition team by improperly unmasking the identity of Americans who were swept up in foreign electronic spying.

“What I’ve read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know if the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read,” said Nunes, who uncovered the reports.

Nunes announced the committee would seek to determine who knew about the classified reports, why they were not disclosed to Congress, and who requested and authorized the disclosure of the Americans’ identities in the reports.

The panel also will try to find out whether the intelligence community was ordered to spy on Trump associates and if laws or regulations were violated.

Nunes said he was alarmed by what he saw in several dozen intelligence reports that include transcripts of communications, including communications directly from Trump. The reports were based on a foreign electronic spying operation between November and January. They were revealed by an intelligence community insider who alerted Nunes.

Nunes said on CNN that after reading the reports he was confident the Obama White House and numerous agencies “had a pretty good idea of what President-elect Trump was up to and what his transition team was up to and who they were meeting with.”

The full extent of the improper spying—including the improper unmasking of Americans whose identities were to be hidden in reports of foreign communications intercepts—is expected to be disclosed Friday, Nunes said.

The National Security Agency has agreed to provide additional reports, although Nunes said the FBI has not yet agreed to his request to turn over additional sensitive intelligence reports on the Trump transition team.

“This is information that was brought to me that I thought the president needed to know about incidental collection, where the president himself and others in the Trump transition team were clearly put into intelligence reports that ended up at this White House and across a whole bunch of other agencies,” Nunes said after meeting Trump on Wednesday.

The intelligence reports, which number in the dozens, suggest that the names of Trump and his advisers were not properly “minimized” in the foreign intelligence reports, as required under intelligence rules protecting the privacy rights of Americans.

“We don’t have the full scope of all the intelligence reports that were produced, or who ordered the unmasking of additional names, and we’re hoping to get that,” Nunes said.

The transcripts appeared to be the result of legal intelligence collection against a foreign target. The problem, Nunes said, was that someone in government ordered the names of the Americans to be unmasked and the reports to be distributed to government agencies.

Normal intelligence procedures limit the unmasking of Americans caught up in foreign electronic surveillance.

The committee is already investigating how the name of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was improperly unmasked in a foreign intelligence report of Flynn’s phone conversation with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.

The intelligence report was disclosed to the press and led to Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser after he misled the vice president about the contents of his conversation with the ambassador.

Nunes said the new information he has seen “has nothing to do with Russia or the Russia investigation.”…

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