House intelligence chair apologizes for briefing the White House before the ranking committee member

Nunes apologized to the committee, according to one member.

March 23, 2017, 1:11 PM

— -- Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., apologized to his full House Intelligence Committee today for failing to inform the committee's Democratic ranking member of his findings — that the intelligence community "incidentally collected" surveillance of Trump's transition team and possibly Trump himself — before he briefed the White House and held a press conference yesterday.

"I am not confident that he can run this committee," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who informed reporters that Nunes apologized in a closed door meeting. A second Democratic member, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, corroborated the story.

Nunes has refused to share the source of his information with the committee. Speier said she believes Nunes obtained it "either from the White House or possibly by someone associated with the White House."

Earlier today, Nunes told reporters that his decision not to alert ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., before talking to the media was his "judgment call."

"I mean, there was a lot going on yesterday, and it was a judgment call on my part ... At the end of the day, sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the wrong one, but you've got to stick by the decisions you make," Nunes said.

Nunes' decision to brief the White House came amid his committee's investigation into suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and alleged connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The committee is also investigating possible leaks by the intelligence community.

During his press conference yesterday, Nunes stressed that the communications "incidentally collected" had nothing to do with Russia. He also said the surveillance was legally collected under a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant.

Schiff said today he was "blindsided but mostly just mystified" by Nunes' actions yesterday.

"He's having difficulty separating his role as a surrogate for the administration with his role as a committee chairman that has to do a very important, arguably pivotally important, investigation," Schiff said in an interview on ABC's "The View" today. "He can't do both roles. It compromises the work we're doing."

Schiff declined to answer whether Nunes apologized to him and the other committee members, saying only, "We shared our concerns with the chair and the majority about what happened yesterday and how the investigation is being conducted."

Schiff said he and other members of the Intelligence Committee still have not seen the reports Nunes cited.

ABC News' Rick Klein contributed to this report.

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