Sean Spicer addresses reports of White House staffers leaking documents to House Intelligence Committee head

ABC News' political director, Rick Klein, talks with Cecilia Vega and Mary Bruce about reports saying Rep. Devin Nunes received information on incidental surveillance.
15:41 | 03/30/17

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Transcript for Sean Spicer addresses reports of White House staffers leaking documents to House Intelligence Committee head
A fast moving gay and intrigue people ends of Pennsylvania Avenue hi there. I'm eighty sees reclined joining you here And on FaceBook to update you want all of the fast moving developments. On both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House at capital I will be joined by colleagues. In both of those places in a few minutes but first an update on the major headlines as we see the white house press briefing. Just wrapping up starting with the Russia story in intriguing set of new developments there the Senate Intelligence Committee having its initial public hearing on the topic. New details even scary. And the senate at the same time we now learn from the White House that they have uncovered documents that they are inviting members of congress up to the White House to view. That are relevant to that investigation about possible Russian contacts with the with the trump campaign and or the leak investigation separately the New York Times reporting. That that's secret. Information that was leaked out to the House Intelligence Committee last week in fact. Went through some White House hands to White House aides involved in that according to the New York Times and getting it to the house intelligence chairman. The White House refusing to comments on that a few moments ago secondly some political intrigue and right now the Republican Party at war with itself president trump tweeting an attack on the house freedom caucus. It a prominent senator tweeting an attack on Paul Ryan for saying that he shouldn't be talking to Democrats all sorts of political cross currents at the same time that there is renewed talk. Of optimism around passing a health care bill. Talk now about whether president trump gets involved in primary. Some of the conservative members of the House of Representatives and finally the tells coming out now about the for did visit by the president of China next week. Two to Laura Lovell in Florida rubbed into the White House so my colleagues that giving we'll get here in a moment but I wanna start ordinary person. On Capitol Hill because Mary you're covering the hearing earlier today were rush it was a major focus. And something really interesting with one of the experts you talked to on the way out tell us a little about what which you learned about what they're what they think about. President Trump's behavior during the campaign. Eric lots unpack up here today let's start with that hearing this. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing the first one of their investigation is really been a big reality check on the extent to which Russia tried to influence the election at how. They still pose a very big threat to democracy is around the world and the thought the fact that they could. Put an immediate threat to the US remember of course we have another election coming up those mean turns out one of the witnesses who spoke. Had some very alarming comments to make when asked why he thought. That Putin that Russia was able to be so successful during the election and he pointed a finger at then candidate Donald Trump. We asked him after the day of the hearing. Whether he was implying that Donald Trump was using similar tactics. To Russia and he told me yes absolutely no question he noted that Donald Trump and his campaign used a lot of state media to try and attack their opponents and he says that that is the exact same thing that Russia tried to do. To influence the election to Tryon and confused. The electorate to try and push their own agenda drawing some parallels here this morning. Between the actions of Russia and those of the trump campaign pretty astounding. Comments but overall. This hearing has been really about the big picture here about how much Russia influence the election the tools they use where we've been hearing a lot about troll that the learning a lot about various social media and different. Ways that Russia could have influenced and battled in the election. Yeah and those investigations are heating up we're joined now by Cecilia Vega in heating up eating up while it's hot here feels as good as it is hot. So this is really interest because just moments before you walk in you have this new report New York Times which everything we can assume instantly primary. It's a the report says will fill Google people on this evidence. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee according to the year White House staffers were involved in getting him that information the report last week. That's the information now pumps that made him he also. And that. Is part about that entire story in history. If this is. If this report is true in the White House is not saying not at this point. He need this total sure read about coming down to the White House because he had to urgently briefed the president about this information. In your time is saying that two kids eight basically the building right across the street from here. Are the ones who gave new at this information so what was for the cameras offer shelf for the showed up at you know the White House is being Vieri. Un KG as you heard sounds nicer today not give very many deet tails they say they call. Leadership in the senate and house intelligence needs to come down now in. Review some kind of documents I ask them about and that's what that's a curveball that got it was a little also it's a lot of this current I don't know your battered based on how I am but it needn't feel like I. A home run hit. They bought this thing out there written for the briefing at the briefing meeting in the briefing its I'll invited senate and house talk news come and it it is information. But they're not thing what this is like quarter Spicer athletic that is this the smoking gun basically. Rooms the president's wire tapping claims that they won't say that either we don't know I haven't seen it so. It's just it's it's it's being run right now and it was hot it was contentious lake where there's racer was. Yelled Glenn rush from the New York Times for an erupting did you accept my apology I don't like leasehold land app in the evening he apologized and that's. Nose. Covering news briefing that's like a free cross boarding contests and hitting reporters against each other trying to get them to a college at. Russia's need to apologize and tried to see the floor let's ask this question because frankly sit in the room I haven't heard the New York Times that question and it really. Careful you can get nationals it pretty snappy out at Clinton though let's play the silliest thing when a little bit with the announcements are few moments ago. It validates. I don't know I'd not seen materials. Its members the national security committee have come across these documents that would make them available to the members. This entire process. Less units in. If if business and out. About wiretaps and here public outrage. Our guest here and I think that's why we're going through a process. Is it I can't and I say this respectfully I understand. That you want all of those process cancers what data come commit what would they weren what do enactment the relevant questions are about the substance of this. And and and and it's interesting I don't get the same thing what I CDs unpublished stories with anonymous sources you don't ever tell me who your sources work who. That's right. For the record have you been asking about what would they were wearing that part of the I was asking about what they were wearing nor have I ever gonna ask Sean Spicer to tell me my anonymous sources are. It's a lot of unanswered questions right now from this White House and the number of questions that are not going away anytime soon. I actually after him because they see the doors the west wing are open and the president's about to have meeting stance. Means offering got to go to the Oval Office we get there. So let's hop back. Harry remotely what's the seem like a capital he was chasing down the unions the we have been running ragged pretty much all week as you know physically running after actually changed my running shoes at one point yesterday Rick to trying to catch up with avenue as he we think is art left houses down with their business for the day of course just as his bombshell break it all gets to the question of its source that's what everyone here. I've been asking including members of his own come eighty days in the ranking member atom chips that won't share. Source is with and he's not sharing it with with other members of the committee Republican. More democratic White House come on up we'll have a conversation about this now we don't know exactly what information. The White House has to be sharing with the members of the leaders of these two committees on the house and senate that whether that's the same information. It that it unit secretly with was shown last week there's a lot. Ugliness around all of this right now but up here the general consensus on capitol but they want to move forward with these investigations and right now. The bottom line is that the house intelligence committee's investigation has been paralyzed by all of this politics. And that's why meanwhile to that you're seeing this and it trying to come out the senate that the Republican and the democratic chairman trying to show a united front moving ahead with their investigation. While the house side is simply ground to a halt over all of this confusion surrounding chairman units who he met with what he saw and win it that. Well the other members of his committee and leadership. Get to know those answers to. To track down all those members because we've watching you right around all over capitol the last couple days. I want to switch topics to some of the political intrigue going on because the last couple hours have featured some Republican on Republican violence. And it get a real. Start with speaker Ryan who made a comment in the CBS interview where he said it's he hopes that president thoughts actions. With talking to conservatives don't drive into the arms of Democrats on health care. That drew a rebuke from senator Bob Corker of Tennessee pulled its sad to see the speaker of the house talking about that and that president trump waited. And he waited against the house freedom office how is that going over. That pretty male or maybe not so veiled threat to go primary some of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives. There's a lot of frantic finger flying finger pointing going on up here and that tweets back and forth. Don't comes down to help Garrett waiter this goes next if it if it goes anywhere. Look you have this morning the president coming out taking any I would say at pretty open. Threat at those members of the freedom caucus remembered those are that's the group the ultra conservative. House members that essentially stood in the way. Paul Ryan and other house republicans' health care bill the president's health care bill just last week and that like it was an eternity and about just how were things they even believe the words coming out of my mouth. But the president taking aim at them suggesting that they are still standing in the way saying that they heat is going to go after them that his supporters we'll go after them as they look towards their next elections and saying that they're standing in the way of the Republican agenda because they blocked. All of this movement on helped get that bad that sparked some years responses from some members of the Tea Party just in of not being one of them he suggested that that the president is getting tad bit of a tough political lesson here on on what it. It's like it how difficult it is to try and drain the swamp as the president has repeatedly promised to do but it also gets. At the bigger question of how they want to get anything done on health care. Will that happen and there's the suggestion has been in many times over that in order to get any movement there. The White House and Republicans are going to have to partner up with and Democrats in order stated to get enough votes because they're being blocked by those ultraconservative. And and it is speaker Ryan going to be willing to partner up with them. These are all big unknown in huge questions that remain to be seen. And things that Republicans have to tackle they're going to ever have any hope that the filling what was their signature promise the American people that they are going to somehow. Six obamacare. And it's going to be a hot couple of weeks in terms of these relationships the Easter recess coming up another one White House official says. That would be the time where the the trump wing of the party makes itself known but but Mary. I'm curious just in terms of a legislative strategy we saw last week's defeat. The reaction from the White House so far we haven't seen a lot of all of ranch it's we see a lot of finger pointing a lot of a lot of blame. And in this case of very aggressive stance on Spicer asked about it he says the tweets speaks for itself. Is that true the members that it is. I I think they do and you have to remember last week this came up when the president and student and the president's top aides are here huddling with house Republicans late I think it was Wednesday night that they were trying. To salvage health care they have very clear message from the president that if they don't get on board and he's gonna come after that you single out actually mark meadows the chairman of the freedom pockets I have to mark meadows the next day that exact question is he scared. They essentially that this could come back to haunt and its standing in the way of health care. Would would damage them down the road and look they say that you know their focus on their constituents and with their constituents sent them here to do. And they are sticking with their principles on this one that is why they felt they simply could not support the president's health care bill. But you are going to see whether this message is resonating back home over that Easter recess which may have be much of a recess for many lawmakers as they head home and have to face their constituents look. Republicans in the Republican Party promised that they were gonna get something done on health care they tried. In seventeen days to to put together a bill to get it through and it's simply didn't happen now it now there last. Answering to their constituents you know what went wrong why weren't they able to get this done it Peter I was asked that exact question last week and he agrees that that's a very good question. Didn't really have an answer right. Yeah and back to Mary before we let you go back to the initials the story we talked about here is Ross investigation how that's filling all I. Either fascinated I was running around a little bit on Capitol Hill with reviewing that and our great team last week there are so many things popping at the scene I'm. Is the attention on Russia taking away from other attempts by this White House. To get back on track to find an agenda that by some kind of putting every day seems to be blowing up its own directions. Yeah and that seems to be a perpetual problem right the Republican agenda keeps getting to you rail by these. Other huge stories Russia of course it is one it's one big 11 that we continue to see. Stuck up a lot of oxygen up there but even when they tried it on their agenda when you solid with health care that imports in it didn't work out the way that they wanted but there's no question. That Russia and all of this you know especially the palace intrigue that we've seen over the last week with with chairman unit. It is dominate and that means that an even tougher. For the Republicans and for the White House to try and get back on their agenda now we've seen the president earlier in the week you know taking action to roll back the president Obama's climate change actions focusing on bringing back old jobs. Trying to to get you know to turn the corner to get back on message but there's no question as Russia stories that they what it's going to continue to dominate a lot of attention and I don't see that changing any time. And Mary take us inside what it's like them in the always these days I know it's very looks really ring get that thing. Yeah you get to hang out and and just talk to members a congress it will icu sprinting. And it seems like there's a bank of about forty television cameras every time so when you're looking for a chairman viewed as what are you. What goes into your mind of a where you might find him and what's the what's the way to position yourself to be sure you get a question. You know it is reporting that a lot of it feels like stocking wreck. I spend a lot of time you know it goes between. Waiting hallways spending a lot of time just. Waiting and hoping that you catch someone but there's a certain strategy doing I'm not I'll be frank we think a lot about where these people are what boats are they going to what. You know hearings are they and what hallway night they take what's ultimately paying out to trying grab some point and yet if that means that like it late yesterday afternoon ions for renting through a crowd of tourists to trying grabbed avenue it is an eyewitness there is well. So yeah. Getting a work out working on those body lock their address on Capitol Hill thanks for being here. Exact all right our thanks to Cecilia for joining us earlier that's gonna wrap it up for now we gonna get back to working have been in Washington thank you for watching in check back all day long at We'll catch a later.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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