Jewish White House official named as source in Trump-Russia investigation

Posted March 31, 2017

The White House has invited the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee to view materials related to incidental collection, he told reporters Thursday afternoon.

Two White House officials helped provide intelligence reports to House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., according to New York Times report Thursday.

The newspaper named the individuals who provided Nunes with the information as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer at the White House Counsel's Office.

Cohen-Watnick was recruited to the transition team by McMaster's predecessor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned as national security adviser last month after acknowledging that he had misled administration officials about a phone call he had with the Russian ambassador in December.

Nunes reportedly told Bloomberg's Eli Lake "that his source was not a White House staffer and was an intelligence official", Lake wrote.

The United States is no longer making removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a focus of its policy in the war-torn country, the USA ambassador to the United Nations says. Schiff today said Nunes has yet to inform him what was the info, where he saw it, and who showed it to him.

And Spicer last week suggested strongly that he doubted it was the White House that provided the information.

Schiff said that he replied to the letter and is "more than willing to come to the White House at the earliest opportunity to review the materials", but said he made clear in his reply that the full House panel will eventually need access to the materials as well.

Nunes has so far refused to reveal his source of the material and has resisted calls to step down as head of the House Intelligence investigation.

A week after the Politico story was published, Nunes made his trip to the White House grounds to view the intelligence that he brought to the attention of the press and the president the following day. Then, Spicer pivoted to a line he's used already this week, lecturing Garett on the press' "obsession" with the process by which Nunes has gotten his information. One day after the meeting, Nunes revealed in a press conference he had new information that showed the USA intelligence community incidentally surveilled Trump's team during the transition. In the letter, the administration invited him and Nunes to review National Security Council documents relevant to the investigation.