Little New News From Nunes
Election investigation continues to be more politics than national security.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) stated again Thursday that he had seen intelligence reports which included names of Americans associated with Donald Trump’s transition that had been incidentally collected in intelligence monitoring. Nunes said, “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.” What’s not legal is leaking that information, which was most likely done by leftover Barack Obama lackeys.
On its face it may appear that Nunes’ statements contradict those of FBI Director James Comey, who testified this past Monday that there was no evidence supporting Trump’s allegation that Obama ordered a targeted surveillance of Trump and his campaign. But a closer examination suggests otherwise. The key words being “incidental collection.”
Comey confirmed that an investigation into Russian interference into the election was initiated and remains ongoing. He also confirmed that the investigation is looking into any possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign. None of this is new news. Nunes’ statements agree with Comey’s testimony in that there was no targeted surveillance of the Trump team, but that doesn’t rule out that intelligence was collected. It’s a bit of a game of semantics. The trouble is that Trump’s reckless tweet earlier this month accusing Obama of “wiretapping” has, unfortunately, served to muddy the water and needlessly diminished his credibility.
Trump’s fight with the media and Democrats over controlling the election investigation narrative is only proving to cloud legitimate questions on the scope and legality of government’s surveillance into Russian interference. It does little good for Trump to continually make a habit of throwing out demonstrably false or factually inaccurate statements, even if they contain elements of generalized truth. Trump should be communicating with disciplined and thoughtful statements that expose the truth or state an important policy position. He needs to leave conjecture to others.