Nunes says he was on WH grounds day before revealing Trump surveillance info
WASHINGTON — It has been something of a mystery, the whereabouts of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes on the day before his announcement that he saw information suggesting that communications of then-President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers may have been swept up in surveillance of other foreign nationals.
One source told CNN that Nunes, a California Republican, was seen on the White House grounds the day before his announcement. In a phone interview, Nunes confirmed to CNN that he was on the White House grounds that day — but he said he was not in the White House itself. (Other buildings, including the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, are on the same grounds.)
No one in the White House was aware that he was there, Nunes said.
The California Republican said he was there for additional meetings “to confirm what I already knew” but said he wouldn’t comment further so as to not “compromise sources and methods.” He went to the building because he needed a secure area to view the information, he told CNN.
Two congressional sources said Nunes was with a staff member Tuesday night when he got a message, got out of the car and got into an Uber. Staff did not hear again from him that night.
They next heard from Nunes Wednesday morning, the day he scheduled a news conference before going to the White House. The staff do not know where he went Tuesday night.
Nunes pushed back strongly against an account in The Daily Beast that suggested efforts of subterfuge in his path to his sources that day.
“I was in a cab with staff and we dropped them off before I went to my meeting,” he said. “Anything other than that is just false.”
Nunes also told CNN he had been working on nailing down the surveillance information before Trump’s unsubstantiated claim earlier this month that he was wiretapped by President Barack Obama.