The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Friday he viewed materials at the White House that are "precisely the same" as those given to the Republican committee chairman last week in an episode that drew intense criticism.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said he saw no reason why intelligence documents were shared with his GOP counterpart — chairman Rep. Devin Nunes — instead of the full panel, and called on the information to be provided to the committee. He said "it was represented to me that these are precisely the same materials that were provided to the chairman over a week ago."
"If the White House had any concern over these materials, they should have been shared with the full committees in the first place as a part of our ordinary oversight responsibilities," Schiff said in a statement posted on Twitter Friday. "Nothing I could see today warranted a departure from the normal review procedures."
Nunes, R-California, last week claimed a secret source had provided him with information suggesting Trump and his associates may have been "monitored" by U.S. intelligence during the transition. Nunes then went to the White House to brief them on the findings. Trump has accused former President Barack Obama of having his "wires tapped" at Trump Tower prior to the election, without providing evidence.
Nunes later conceded that he could not be sure Trump was monitored — and on Thursday, new questions were raised when the New York Times and the Washington Post reported White House officials played a role in providing him access.
Those officials reportedly found the material on classified systems, then shared it with Nunes outside the normal committee channels. NBC News has not confirmed those reports.
Nunes denied that the materials came from anyone affiliated with the White House, and said "those reports are mostly wrong." He said "this is something that I've known about for a very long time."
A spokesman for Nunes has said he met with the source of the information at the White House last week, a day before he announced the possible incidental surveillance to reporters.
"There were people that probably knew about this, knew about me being there, but the fact of the matter is that doesn't make them the source of my information," Nunes told NBC affiliate KSEE in Fresno.
Nunes, who served on the executive committee of Trump's transition team, has been criticized for his clandestine visit to the White House last week. Democratic lawmakers have accused him of being too cozy with the administration — even as the committee he chairs is tasked with investigating alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election.