Manafort volunteers to appear before Intelligence committees

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The former chairman of President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort has volunteered to appear before the House Intelligence Committee to be interviewed regarding their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced Friday that Manafort has also offered to be interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Both Intelligence committees are probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The White House distanced itself from Manafort after the revelation this week that he entered into a multimillion-dollar contract with a Russian oligarch in 2006 to aid the advancement of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interests worldwide.

The report added to the growing controversy over Trump associates’ alleged ties to Russia, which was sparked again Monday when FBI Director James Comey publicly confirmed that the bureau is investigating whether Trump’s team coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential race.

Nunes also announced Friday that he has asked Comey and National Security Agency (NSA) Director Michael Rogers to brief the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session.

Nunes noted that he does not expect to receive documentation from the NSA on Friday regarding his claims that members of the Trump campaign team were allegedly monitored by the intelligence community. He expects the NSA to provide more information by “early next week.”

Nunes flatly denied that there was any coordination with the White House on his decision to make public the information on the issue that he has acquired. He also asserted that the surveillance appears to have been legal but that, until he receives further information, he cannot be certain.

Nunes provided no more details regarding who, specifically, was swept up in the alleged surveillances. He has given conflicting answers about whether members of the president’s team — or the president himself — were named in the intelligence reports he reviewed.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of what I saw, other than there was Mr. Trump and the transition team,” Nunes said.

Nunes was concerned by two issues revealed in the reports. First, information existed in the reports that he believes should not have been in there. Second, the names of U.S. citizens had been “unmasked” or identified in the reports.

On Friday, Nunes contended that he remains the only lawmaker who has seen the reports.

H/T: The Hill

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