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Intelligence Chair: Trump was Surveilled – (3/22/2017 video, transcript)

Posted by FactReal on March 22, 2017

Via C-Span[1]: “Representative Nunes on Russian Election Interference: House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) briefed reporters on classified information that showed members of the intelligence community collected “incidental” communications of the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations. Chair Nunes said none of the reports mentioned Russia or Russians. He also said it was possible the then president-elect’s communication was captured by the surveillance.”

Let’s see where this new information leads to.

Here is the video: (Scroll down for transcript)

Before taking questions, Nunes read this brief statement in front of reporters at a press conference Wednesday afternoon:

Good morning, everyone. As promised I’m going to continue to keep you apprised of new developments.

Some significant developments I think occurred over the course of the last few days with information that was brought to my attention and I’m going to just sort of read a very brief statement and that’s about all I can tell you but I want to keep you fully informed of what’s happening.

At our open hearing on Monday, I encouraged anyone who has information about relative topics including surveillance on President-elect Trump or his transition team to come forward and speak to the House Intelligence Committee.

I also said that while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.

1. I recently confirmed that, on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.

2. Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.

3. I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.

4. I want to be clear: None of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.

The House Intelligence Committee will thoroughly investigate surveillance and its subsequent dissemination to determine a few things here that I want to read off:

– Who was aware of it

– Why it was not disclosed to Congress

– Who requested and authorized the additional unmasking

– Whether anyone directed the intelligence community to docus on Trump associates

– Whether any laws, regulations or procedures were violated

I have asked the directors of FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15th letter, that you all received a couple weeks ago, and to provide a full account of these surveillance activities.

I informed speaker Ryan this morning of this new information and I will be going to the White House this afternoon to share what I know with the President and his team.

Before I get to questions I want to say that as you know, there’s just been what appears to be a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom. Obviously, [we are] very concerned and our thoughts and prayers go out to our strong friends and allies over across the pond.

SOURCE
[1] C-Span: Devin Nunes Confirms Incidental Surveillance of Trump Transition Team
#https://www.c-span.org/video/?425829-1/devin-nunes-confirms-incidental-surveillance-trump-transition-team

RELATED
Hume: If Trump Investigated — then there was Surveillance (Video)
NYT: Obama extended spying powers to National Security Agency (NSA) – report 1/12/2017
LIST: Media Started the Wiretapping Claim – Not Trump
Truth-Challenged Brian Williams Skeptical of Someone Else’s Claims

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New York Times, 1/20/2017: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”

Posted by FactReal on March 22, 2017

Never forget that the media started the wiretapping claim – not Trump. A great example is the [in]famous front-page headline of the New York Times on Trump’s Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017) describing the wiretapping by the Obama administration. It is absurd the denials by the Left and mainstream media that “there was no wiretapping of the Trump campaign by the Obama administration,” as pointed out by NewsBusters.

[Maybe we should make t-shirts with this image.]
NewYorkTimesTrumpWiretappedJanuary20-2017
Part of the NYT article said: [Emphasis added]

This article is by Michael S. Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo – NEW YORK, FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.

The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.

Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the [Obama] White House.

Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.

Special Note:
The same article was given different titles by the New York Times:
Their printed version: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”
Online version: “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates.”
Source:#*https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/us/politics/trump-russia-associates-investigation.html

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LIST: Media Started the Wiretapping Claim – Not Trump

Posted by FactReal on March 17, 2017

MONTHS BEFORE TRUMP, THE MEDIA TALKED ABOUT TRUMP BEING INVESTIGATED
Since 2016, the mainstream media pushed the narrative that then-candidate Trump and his aides were being wiretapped/surveilled/investigated by several Obama agencies. It was until March 2017, that now-President Trump tweeted that Obama had “my wires tapped.” Trump said that based on news reports published by the liberal media. (scroll down for proof)

Shamelessly, this same media are now accusing Trump of pushing unsubstantiated allegations that Obama wiretapped him…but informed people know that it was the liberal media who started the surveillance claims on Trump.

Here is a short timeline:

11/7/2016, Heat Street: “EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia”

Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia. […]

The first request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons. […]

1/11/2017, The Guardian: “John McCain passes dossier alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts to FBI”

The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.

1/12/2017, The New York Times: ”N.S.A. Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communications”

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is …increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

1/18/2017, McClatchy: “FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump”

The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said.

1/19/2017, The New York Times: “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates”

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. […]

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. […]

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the [Obama] White House.

2/9/2017, The New York Times: “Flynn Is Said to Have Talked to Russians About Sanctions Before Trump Took Office”

Weeks before President Trump’s inauguration, his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, discussed American sanctions against Russia, as well as areas of possible cooperation, with that country’s ambassador to the United States, according to current and former American officials. […]

Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call were surprised by Mr. Flynn’s comments, since he would have known that American eavesdroppers closely monitor such calls. […]

The call is the latest example of how Mr. Trump’s advisers have come under scrutiny from American counterintelligence officials. The F.B.I. is also investigating Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign; and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

3/1/2017, The New York Times: “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking”

WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators. (…)

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence
as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.

3/2/2017, The Wall Street Journal: “Investigators Probed Jeff Sessions’ Contacts With Russian Officials”

U.S. investigators have examined contacts Attorney General Jeff Sessions had with Russian officials during the time he was advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the matter…

The investigation is being pursued by the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Treasury Department


3/4/2017 Trump tweeted about Obama wiretapping/surveillance
Trump: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has explaned: “The President used the word wiretaps in quotes to mean, broadly, surveillance and other activities.”

TrumpTweetObamaTappedWire20170304
(Source:#https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/837989835818287106?lang=en)

RELATED
Trump to Merkel on Obama Wiretapping: We Have Something in Common (video)

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Trump to Merkel on Obama Wiretapping: We Have Something in Common (video)

Posted by FactReal on March 17, 2017

FACT: The media started with the “wiretapping” and “surveillance” claims – Not Trump (proof here)

FACT: Obama spied on the German Chancellor and German reporters
During today’s joint press conference between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a reporter asked Trump about the wiretapping claims.

President Trump gestured to Ms. Merkel and said while smiling: “As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past [Obama] administration, at least we have something in common perhaps.”

(scroll down for facts)

FOR MONTHS, THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORTED ABOUT TRUMP BEING SURVEILLED
We still don’t know if there was or wasn’t any surveillance on Trump by the Obama administration, but we know the mainstream news outlets for months have been pushing that still-unproven narrative: That Trump team was under surveillance by many Obama agencies because of a supposed collusion with the Russians that somehow led to Trump winning the 2016 presidential elections.

The New York Times reported on January 20, 2017: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”
On January 20, 2017: The now [in]famous New York Times front page on the eve of Trump’s Inauguration Day proudly stated: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”

Weeks later (March 4, 2017) is when Trump mentioned the wiretapping when he tweeted: “Obama had my ‘wires tapped…'”

NewYorkTimesTrumpWiretappedJanuary2017

WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said. […]

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. […]

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the [Obama] White House.

OBAMA ALSO SPIED ON GERMAN CHANCELLOR & JOURNALISTS
The Obama administration was previously accused of wiretapping the phone of the German Chancellor Merkel.

Even today’s bias report from CNN[1] reminds us that the Obama’s NSA tapped Merkel’s phone:

Turning to Merkel, who was angry to find out after leaks by Edward Snowden that the [Obama’s] US National Security Agency had tapped her phone, Trump said “at least we have something in common”.

The Economic Times reported in 2013, “Barack Obama knew about NSA’s spying on Angela Merkel: Report”[2]

BERLIN: US President Barack Obama knew that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone was being tapped and personally approved the spying, which may have begun as early as 2002, a damning media report said today.

Obama was informed about the National Security Agency’s tapping of Merkel’s mobile phone already in 2010 by its director Keith Alexander, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported, widening the espionage scandal.

The president “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue,” a high-ranking NSA official was quoted as saying by the paper.

The White House later ordered the spy agency to prepare a detailed dossier on the chancellor.

President Obama did not trust Merkel and wanted to know everything about her, Bild said quoting the official, who was not identified.

Subsequently, the NSA stepped up its surveillance of Merkel and snooped into all conversations made with her mobile phone in communicating with her party colleagues, the newspaper said.

In July 2015, Jake Tapper from CNN reported: “Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government”[3]

Washington (CNN) An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but also interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.

On Thursday, Germany’s intelligence coordinator, Günter Heiss, testified before a parliamentary investigative committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, focused on the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency’s spying on Germany and whether the German intelligence agency BND had any knowledge of it.

That the NSA was spying on German officials is not new, though it continues to upset free press advocates and those with memories of repressive governments both Communist and Nazi. In 2013, the German magazine Der Spiegel, using information gleaned from files stolen and leaked by Edward Snowden, first reported that the NSA was intercepting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone communications.

On Thursday, WikiLeaks released more information, presumably from that surveillance, from a conversation between Merkel and her personal assistant in October 2011, saying the Chancellor “professed to be at a loss” between two courses of action to take in the Greek financial crisis. The WikiLeaks release also suggested that the NSA was spying on German ministers in addition to Merkel. The U.S. ambassador to Germany, John Emerson, was summoned to meet with the Chancellery chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, to discuss the news.

Less observed this week was news that the NSA was eavesdropping not only on Merkel, but also in some capacity on Germany’s free press, specifically Der Spiegel.

CNN has learned that in early summer 2011, the CIA station chief in Berlin (also representing the NSA at the U.S. Embassy) met with Heiss and his assistant Guido Müller. The CIA station chief urged the two men to take action against Heiss’ deputy, Hans-Josef Vorbeck, who he said was leaking classified information to journalists. […]

That the U.S. government thought it appropriate to spy on journalists doing their jobs is controversial enough. But why would it be appropriate for U.S. officials to use these tools — given to save lives and protect U.S. national security — to notify the German government about officials talking to reporters in the normal exercise of a free press? […]

German journalists have a much different take, not surprisingly.

“It feels bitter to learn that American intelligence agencies spied on reporters in another country and denounced alleged sources to the government,” said one reporter involved, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from his government or the U.S. government. “This is something I expected to happen in authoritarian states like Russia or China, but not in a democracy.” […]

None of those statements suggest that the Obama administration necessarily sees anything wrong in spying on the free press of another country, and then using that information to inform the government of that country about officials who might be cooperating with the press. Indeed, all of the statements suggest that the NSA can do whatever it wants if it believes national security to be at stake, a loose and amorphous principle that apparently includes interfering with a free press exercising its right to obtain information. […]

It is clear that regardless of the national security principle, the Obama administration has been embarrassed before the world and seen its diplomatic efforts weighed down by the drip-drip-drip of these revelations. Last week, the French government summoned the U.S. ambassador after WikiLeaks released information suggesting the NSA had spied on French President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors.

SOURCES:
[1] CNN: Trump tells Merkel: ‘At least we have something in common’ about wiretapping – Fri. March 17, 2017
#http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/17/politics/donald-trump-angela-merkel/
[2] The Economic Times: Barack Obama knew about NSA’s spying on Angela Merkel: Report – Oct. 27, 2013
#http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/et-cetera/barack-obama-knew-about-nsas-spying-on-angela-merkel-report/articleshow/24774884.cms
[3] CNN: Obama administration spied on German media as well as its government
By Jake Tapper – Sat July 4, 2015
#http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/03/politics/germany-media-spying-obama-administration/

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