Chairman Nunes recently conducted an explosive interview, where he revealed critical information on abuses of the intelligence community by the Obama administration.
He explained that the previous administration unmasked hundreds of private American citizens, for what he believes are political purposes.
From Full Measure
Rep. Devin Nunes: So in that investigation, we’ve unearthed things that are very concerning. We know that there are un-maskings that occurred and probably were leaked to the media. So this is, so these were, this is an intelligence products that were put together. The names or the names of the Americans were masked.
Sharyl: Because it’s so sensitive, Americans aren’t supposed to be spied on by our intelligence agencies. So when they are captured, their names are-
Rep. Devin Nunes: Are masked-
Sharyl: Right, Masked, inside the government.
Rep. Devin Nunes: And what we found was happening is, in the last administration, they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of American’s names. They were unmasking people for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes.
Sharyl: How could they use that information?
Rep. Devin Nunes: We have no evidence, that they leaked this information, okay. We only know that we only know this. That names were unmasked. And those names ended up in the newspaper.
Sharyl: In a derogatory sense, in terms of political enemies of the Obama Administration.
Rep. Devin Nunes: Right, it’s like political dirt to create a narrative and a spin with the mainstream media.
Sharyl: You reported what you learned early on, on the unmaskings to President Trump and were criticized by a Democrat counterpart of the committee, Adam Schiff. Who said you quote, Made a midnight run to the White House, where you misrepresented where you received the information. There was an ethics investigation into that, and you were cleared. But how would you answer Adam Schiff’s criticism that you behaved improperly?
Rep. Devin Nunes: Well most of the time I ignore political nonsense in this town. What I will say is that all of those stories were totally fake from the beginning. When I got that information okay, which was not at midnight. I didn’t jump out of any cars. That was totally fake. It was all made up nonsense. I went out and held a press availability, where I told the press, Look, I’ve, I found this information. It has nothing to do with Russia. I’m going to go explain this to the President of the United States. Because I’m the only one that really can do it. And then I went and did that. Briefed the President. Afterwards, I went and talked to the press at the White House. So my reward for transparency, total transparency with the with the media and everybody involved was to be brought up under a false ethics accusation. That has since everyone’s learned was total nonsense and it’s been dismissed.
Sharyl: On the unmaskings, one very tangible bit of evidence that to me looks like a crime. Is the fact that the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. It looked like she had made a masking request on a near-daily basis. Which is amazing in 2016. It’s pretty incredible. Yet she reportedly told Congress, most of those were not really her.
Rep. Devin Nunes: Yeah.
Sharyl: Wouldn’t that mean somebody committed a serious National Security Crime if they used her name to request unmaskings of US Citizens?
Rep. Devin Nunes: Yeah, so we don’t know what the truth is there. I think it would be, I think it’s highly unlikely that she was not the one who was giving permission to make those unmasking requests.
Sharyl: So you don’t believe her?
Rep. Devin Nunes: I just don’t know how that’s possible.
Sharyl: There appears to be a serious conflict of interest that the intelligence community, FBI, who are in charge of the investigation some of these things, are implicated in some of these alleged misdeeds. How do you get around that? How can this be investigated fairly, when the only prosecutorial authority really rests with the people accused of wrongdoing?
Rep. Devin Nunes: Yeah and I think what you’re, and now what you’re getting into is the FISA abuse. So I want to, I think we want to make sure we make that change, the difference there. So there was unmaskings that we unearthed, then there are the FISA abuse that we’ve discovered.