'Has America become North Korea, where speaking to Russia is forbidden?'
The chief of the US House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has apologized to committee members for disclosing information on surveillance relating to Donald Trump.
Nunes revealed, before telling his committee colleagues, that communications involving the Trump campaign team may have been intercepted by intelligence agencies.
RT: Why has Nunes been forced to apologize? Did he break any rules by telling the President his team was being surveilled?
Daniel McAdams: It might have been technically poor etiquette not revealing it to his fellow committee members. But look at how his fellow committee members are behaving on the Democratic side of the aisle about this whole thing. Letting the cat out of the bag early to them would have just opened him up to the kind of attacks that we are seeing right now. You reveal something that is absolutely earth-shattering if true, of Watergate proportions, that the Obama administration was spying on Trump and the transition team, and what do the Democrats say? Investigate the guy who told us this, who found this out. It is completely preposterous, so why bother telling them anyway? They are not following the proper protocol either.
Nunes is under pressure because… he has actually drawn back the curtain on the way the US system operates. This information has been out there for a long time now, ever since Edward Snowden revealed the blanket surveillance of the entire population of the United States. Everybody knows they are under surveillance if they are doing anything of any importance in the country. He has not revealed anything new. This is common knowledge. And to mention to the president “Mr.President, of course, you know you can be accidentally surveilled, and you are certainly incidentally surveilled as a candidate for the presidency of the US.” There is nothing new and nothing surprising. And there is nothing wrong in saying so… But the agenda is being set by the mainstream media, which globally supported the losing candidate in this election. So, they lost the election, with their candidate Hillary Clinton going down in flames, they are now trying to cancel the election by usurping the presidency from the man who the American people elected. - John Bosnitch, political analyst
RT: Did this story get appropriate media coverage?
DM: No, it hasn’t, and it is unfortunately very politicized because the real issue here at hand is Section 702 of the FISA law. That was brought in amendments in 2007-2008. That allowed the NSA to essentially spy on any American. We were told at the time, “They won’t do it, it won’t happen.” But we know from Edward Snowden they routinely use this. This allows the NSA to listen into a phone call as long as one person in the call is a foreigner on foreign soil and the call has to have counterintelligence value; there has to be some foreign intelligence component to the discussion. That is why it is so important when Nunes said that he discerned from what he has seen – there is no foreign counterintelligence data on here. That means somebody broke the law big time. That is what we should be talking about, not who is vindicated or who should be investigated.
RT: Democratic Party Representative Adam Shiff said Nunes needs to pick sides either to help investigate Trump's alleged connections with Russia or to act as the White House surrogate, as he put it. What do you make of that?
DM: I would say that Shiff has a panic attack. He is not facing the facts that are in front of him. He would rather live in a fantasy world. During the hearing, he cited this completely discredited dossier put together by some murky British intelligence officer with all kind of totally bizarre and unproven allegations. That is what he is using as his source. He has delivered no evidence as he has no evidence. And once the evidence comes up, what does he do – he says, “There is nothing here. Let’s go back to Russia and Putin.” Totally insane.
RT: What about allegations that there were conversations with Russia?
DM: It’s desperation. But what does it mean? “They had contacts with Russians.” Half of Washington works as lobbyists for foreign governments. It’s amazing Americans are shocked by this. People work for the Israeli government, the UK government, Macedonia, Germany, whatever. It’s a natural thing to do, so if some people have had contacts in that way, it is perfectly normal if they talked to Russian counterparts. What Flynn did was nothing out of the ordinary. What Flynn did, what Sessions did. That’s what people do all the time. Are we North Korea? We can’t talk to people from any other country? I guess it’s okay with any country except Russia, I suppose.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.