A pair of White House officials have been implicated in providing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes with intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were caught in surveillance by U.S. spy agencies, according to a report Thursday.
A senior member of the National Security Council and a lawyer with the White House Counsel’s Office were involved in providing the information to Mr. Nunes, The New York Times reported, citing several U.S. officials.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer would not confirm or deny the story.
“We are not going to start commenting” on stories based on anonymous sources, he said at the daily White House briefing.
Suspicions that the White House was involved flared as soon as the California Republican announced that he had been informed of that Mr. Trump and his associates were caught in surveillance and then “unmasked,” a possible violation of federal privacy laws.
Mr. Trump said it “somewhat” vindicated his claims that the Obama administration had wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.
The newspaper report likely will intensify Democrats’ calls for Mr. Nunes to step down from his committees’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election and possible collision by Trump campaign officials.
Mr. Nunes was criticized for briefing Mr. Trump on the surveillance data before briefing other members of the intelligence committee, including allegations that he was acting as a surrogate for the White House and impugning the credibility of the investigation.
Dave Boyer contributed to this report