Three White House officials, including the top lawyer for the National Security Council, helped provide the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, with intelligence reports showing that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies, reports The Washington Post.
“The White House role in the matter contradicts assertions by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and adds to mounting concerns that the Trump administration is collaborating with the leader of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” says The Post.
Several current officials identified the White House officials as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office. Ellis was previously counsel to Nunes’s committee. Ezra Cohen-Watnick has close ties to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
While they may not have broken any laws, they have clearly sought to use intelligence to advance the political goals of the Trump administration.