(CNSNews.com) – House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Sunday there is “no evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, there is no evidence that the Obama administration obtained a FISA warrant to tap Trump Tower; and the only crime that’s been committed for sure is the “leaking of someone’s name through the FISA system.”
Nunes appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” one day before the intelligence committee holds its first public hearing on Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. FBI Director James Comey is testifying.
On Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Nunes, “Have you seen any evidence of any collusion between what I'll call Trump world, associates, of campaign officials, Trump world and the Russians to swing the 2016 presidential election?”
“I'll give you a very simple answer. No,” Nunes replied.
“No evidence of any collusion,” Wallace repeated.
“No evidence,” Nunes confirmed. “There's no -- no evidence of collusion.”
Nunes also said there was no “physical wiretap” of Trump Tower. And “there was no FISA warrant that I’m aware of to tap Trump Tower,” he told Wallace.
Nunes said the only crime that’s been committed is the leaking of names of American citizens caught up in electronic surveillance of foreigners, such as the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
Wallace asked Nunes, “Do you believe that there are elements inside the intelligence community or the FBI that are leaking information, like the name of Mike Flynn, like perhaps the fact that Attorney General Sessions met with the Russian ambassador, to undercut the Trump presidency?”
“I think that's pretty clear,” Nunes said. “It’s pretty clear that that’s happening. There's even been stories written about it in -- in numerous newspapers talking about how they said – they [the Obama administration] left breadcrumbs around to hurt the Trump administration.”
Nunes said he no longer thinks the blame lies with people who are still inside the intelligence agencies: “I think it was largely people maybe who were there, had classified information, who are now no longer there and decided to leak it.”
Nunes said the leaks were “clearly designed” to hurt General Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Trump’s national security adviser.
Nune said Monday’s hearing is “just the beginning”:
“A week from Tuesday, on the 28th, we have an additional hearing with at least three more witnesses. So we're trying to get to everyone who -- for lack of a better term -- was at the crime scene, and we're trying to bring them all in and see what they knew, when they knew it, if they know about the leaks, if they knew about General Flynn's his name being unmasked. These are all questions that we need to get to the bottom of.”
Nunes said the crime is the leaking of names gathered during FISA surveillance that should not have been leaked. “Because that's the only crime that we know has been committed right now. That we know. We know a law has been broken and we need to get to the bottom of it.”
Nunes said he also wants to know if any other names of American citizens were unmasked, leaked: “We just don’t know that yet,” he said.
Nunes told Wallace that Monday’s hearing will “highlight the fact that we know that the Russians were trying to get involved in our campaign, like they have for many decades. They're also trying to get involved in campaigns around the globe and -- over in Europe. So I think it will be good to highlight that.”
He also said the hearing will focus on “analytical integrity.” In the beginning of December, the intelligence community assessed that the Russians were trying to influence the election process. “But then that changed a month later and they it said, no, no, no, that they were trying to help Donald Trump. So we need to get to the bottom of that.”
Monday's hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence begins at 10 a.m.