The New York Times has revealed the two White House officials who helped provide House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes with information showing that the Obama administration incidentally collected intelligence on Donald Trump advisers.
Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the office of the White House counsel, are the two officials, according to The Times.
Nunes, a California Republican and member of the Trump transition team, has refused to disclose how he obtained information showing the Obama administration’s incidental surveillance of the Trump team.
Nunes announced the new details in a surprise press conference on Wednesday. During the briefing, Nunes suggested that his source was an intelligence community whistleblower.
During his press conference, Nunes said that the information appeared to have been collected legally, but he expressed concern that Trump advisers had been improperly unmasked.
The revelation that the White House was involved in providing the information to Nunes is likely to fuel criticism that he is working too closely with the Trump administration, even while he is overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign.