House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said Wednesday he had briefed President Trump on new information, unrelated to an investigation into Russian activities, that suggested several members of his transition team — and possibly the president himself — had their identities "unmasked" after their communications were swept up through incidental collection.
"What I have read bothers me and I think it should bother the president himself and his team, because I think some of it seems to be inappropriate," Nunes told reporters at the White House following his meeting with Trump.
The "unmasking" of Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, led to details about his conversations with the Russian ambassador leaking to the press. The identities of Americans are supposed to remain "masked" if American communications are swept up during surveillance of foreign individuals.
Nunes said other individuals' names were included in intelligence reports that were then spread across the federal government, although he said his committee is still looking into how many Obama administration officials would have had access to those reports.
"There are dozens of reports that I was able to see," Nunes said. "There were additional unmaskings that occurred."
Nunes would not say who provided his panel with the new information, only that the individual or group of people who handed over the documentation did so "through the proper channels."
"They had the right clearances," he said.
Trump had asked the House and Senate intelligence committees to look into allegations of surveillance in Trump Tower after he tweeted earlier this month that Barack Obama had a personal role in "wiretapping" his eponymous Manhattan building.
Obama has denied any involvement in ordering surveillance on Trump or his associates.