CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday grilled House Intel Committee chairman Devin Nunes over reports he met an intelligence source on White House grounds the day before he informed Donald Trump that he and members of his transition team may have been “incidentally surveilled” by intelligence agencies.
Nunes insisted he’d been concerned about the unmasking of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports long before Trump’s “famous tweet” alleging former President Barack Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.
Blitzer asked Nunes if he understands why it “might be conspicuous for the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to visit” the White House hours before unilaterally deciding to inform the president of potential intelligence gathered on Trump and members of his team.
Nunes argued there was nothing clandestine about meeting a source at the White House, adding, “if I wanted to, I could have snuck onto White House grounds at night when nobody would have seen me.”
Blitzer pressed Nunes on “who cleared [him] for admission” at the White House, arguing, “eventually these records, they’re going to come out anyhow.”
“Why not disclose it now if it’s going to be released in the near-future?” Blitzer asked. “You understand how all of this looks and why it’s causing such an uproar?”
Nunes argued the potential unmasking of additional names “bothered [him] enough for him to consider it “completely appropriate … to go to the president with this.”
At one point, Nunes grew exasperated by the magnitude of Blitzer’s question, complaining, “this is a lot of questions.”
“Do you understand why it might have been better to avoid this kind of meeting at the White House,” Blitzer asked again.
The CNN host also pressed Nunes about the president’s tweets alleging Obama had wiretapped him prior to the election.
“You don’t believe that, do you?” Blitzer asked, adding, “He should not feel vindicated?”
Watch the interview below, via CNN: