WATCH: Adam Schiff Responds to Devin Nunes’ Trump Updates

Democrat Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, held a hastily-planned press conference to respond to committee chairman Devin Nunes‘ decision to give President Donald Trump updates on the Russia investigation and wiretapping without showing the evidence to Schiff. He said that Nunes’ actions mean that there is reason to create an independent commission to investigate Russia’s involvement.

Schiff, who is also from California, said that Nunes’ actions created “enormous doubt” that Congress can handle an independent investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He said he will ask House Speaker Paul Ryan about creating an independent commission.

“We have certainly made it clear now for many weeks … we do an investigation through our intelligence committees but we also have a truly independent commission,” Schiff said. “A commission would have a dedicated staff and resources solely on this … issue.”

Schiff said that Nunes was the only person on the House Intelligence Committee to see the newly discovered intercepts before the press conferences. He also underlined how unusual it was for Nunes to share information with the press and the president before speaking with the other members of the committee.

Schiff also said that he hopes these press conferences weren’t part of a “broader campaign” by the White House to distract attention away from FBI Director James Comey‘s testimony that there is no evidence that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the campaign. Comey also confirmed that the FBI is running an investigation into possible ties between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.

During his press conferences on March 22, Nunes said that he saw intercepts that showed that the Trump transition team was surveilled in “incidental collection” after the election. However, he said that it appeared that the conversations were collected legally and weren’t connected to the investigation into the Russia investigation.

Schiff also issued a statement on Twitter, saying that Nunes can’t conduct a credible investigation this way. “Because the committee has still not been provided the intercepts in the possession of the Chairman, it is impossible to evaluate the Chairman’s claims,” Schiff wrote. “It certainly does not suggest – in any way – that the President was wiretapped by his predecessor.”

Just before Schiff’s press conference, Nunes went on The Lead With Jake Tapper on CNN to defend his decision. Tapper asked Nunes what he would say to Democrats who think he’s being political in his handling, noting that Nunes himself was a member of the Trump transition team. He defended his decision to hold the press conferences.

“Look, there’s no good way to do this,” Nunes said. “The bottom line is that we are all elected. I serve at the pleasure of the Republicans in my conference as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee and it’s my job to run these investigations and provide oversight over the intelligence agencies. And that’s what I’m doing. So at the end of the day, people can make up their own mind when we come up with a product that we’ll come out at the end of all this and we’ll share as much as we can with the public. I’m trying my best, any time I have new information and come out and talk to all of you.”

Schiff also told MSNBC that be believes there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” to possibly prove that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. It is “very much worthy of investigation,” Schiff said.

During two press conferences, Nunes said that he saw new information that members of the Trump transition were surveilled by the U.S. intelligence community. Their communications were collected in “incidental collection,” Nunes said. That’s a term describing what happens when a foreign target communicates with a U.S. citizen while under surveillance. Typically, the U.S. citizens’ names wouldn’t appear in the reports, but Nunes said that the names of Trump transition members were “unmasked.” This included more members than just former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

After first announcing his findings to the press at the Capitol, Nunes spoke with Trump and then held a second press conference. After meeting with Nunes, Trump said he felt “somewhat” validated. However, Nunes still insisted that there is no evidence that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped, as Trump claimed on Twitter earlier this month.

WATCH: Devin Nunes Talks About Surveillance of Trump Campaign

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes provided an update on the Trump-Russia investigation, and on the evidence he's seen related to Donald Trump's wiretapping claims.

Click here to read more

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  1. Is Schiff the guy with all those false statements about Roger Stone’s Twitter predictions on the Podesta leaks? He can’t be trusted if it is. Schiff omitted that these tweets had followed WIKILEAKS’ announcements of release dates,.

  2. Nunes needs to be removed from the investigation, the fact alone that he does not believe that coming to the press and the White House is an issues is proof enough.

    • Julie,
      Are you a Democrat? That is what I thought. Democrats and some Republicans are afraid of what Devin Nunes might
      find in the investigation. Democrats are no longer in power and neither is the press. Wake Up, you dumb Democrat.
      Watch Fox News and Fox Business News on TV and you will find out what is really going on and you won’t see that
      on the Democrat networks.

  3. Benghazi ?

    You mean the gun deal that went bad.

    That got Americans killed and that !

    That the Democrats didn’t want to rush to their aid ; because, the fear they would have been caught and their involvement in a illegal gun deal !

    At the same time the Obama and his administration backed up their trucks to the White House and loaded up with all of America’s gold .

    Putting America more debt, putting the American people with an extra bill to pay called Obamacare.

    Now these Democrats claim on their soapbox ,claiming it’s the same Healthcare they have.

    And everybody should be happy ?
    If it was the same Healthcare that the

    Democrat politicians have it would be great ,but ! it’s not.

    It’s just a referral program , nothing gets done for the sick and the needy.

    But it does one thing for sure it puts the American people more in debt.

    So up yours ( Adam Schiff ! ) .

    • @ up yours . . . the article discussed fall out from the Liar-in-Chief’s latest lie re: Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower, . . . wtf does healthcare have to do with it? Dude, you are cray-cray with your hate.

  4. The reason Nunes went public with the information is obvious. Had he told the HIC ahead of time, Schiff would have immediately contacted the parties involved and told them that the jig was up, to start destroying any evidence and above all, get their stories straight. He’s feigning indignation because he was outflanked, pure and simple.

    • Take some responsibility for your own healthcare and buy some insurance, now that there are no pre-existing conditions, instead of my having to pay your ER bill, where cost is exponential to other health care fees, The law says you have to be responsible for your car/driving, it’s crazy not to have to be responsible for your healthcare!