Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday he still has deep concerns about the Trump administration’s handling of classified intelligence following a trip to the White House to review key documents for himself.
Schiff issued a brief statement after viewing the documents, which had previously been made available only to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
“It was represented to me that these are precisely the same materials that were provided to the Chairman over a week ago,” Schiff said. “Nothing I could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures, and these materials should now be provided to the full membership of both committees.”
The California Democrat added, “The White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member of either committee, only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House.”
Nunes set off a firestorm last week when he made a secret trip to the White House grounds to review the documents and then in multiple press conferences portrayed them as evidence that Trump transition aides might have been improperly monitored by the Obama administration following November’s election.
Schiff, in his statement Friday, declined to weigh in on Nunes’ characterization of the materials, saying he “cannot discuss the content of the documents” because they’re classified.
Schiff recently wondered aloud whether the White House had been trying to “launder” information through the House Intelligence Committee in a bid to distract from the panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Trump’s team and Moscow.
On Thursday, the White House invited the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to come view the documents. The Senate Intelligence panel is asking the White House to send the documents instead to a secure facility at the Capitol.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Friday the White House was in talks with the Senate panel about viewing the documents.
By: Austin Wright