Rep. Devin Nunes reveals secret meeting on WH grounds amid Russia probe

Last Updated Mar 27, 2017 10:10 PM EDT

WASHINGTON --  Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was at the White House grounds last Tuesday to meet a source and look at highly classified information in a “secure location.”

“I had been working this for a long time with many difference sources and needed a place that I could actually finally go because I knew what I was looking for and could actually get access to what I needed to see,” Nunes said in a Monday interview with CNN.

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House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, right, and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff

Reuters

Tuesday’s visit to the White House complex was the start of several days of unusual meetings and conflicting disclosures.

On Wednesday, Nunes revealed to the press that he had seen evidence that the Obama administration had intercepted communications involving members of the Trump transition team.

Nunes then returned to the White House to personally brief the president, before disclosing the information to members of his own committee.

On Thursday, he was forced to apologize for keeping them in the dark.

By Friday, Nunes seemed less certain of his claims. “It’s hard to know where the information came from until you get the reports and have time to go through them and see all the sourcing of the documents,” he said.

Nunes has denied that his source is from the White House.

On Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said even he doesn’t know where the information came from.

“I don’t know, and that’s something that frankly, I don’t even know that he discussed with the president,” he said.

Democrats say Nunes’ behavior makes it impossible for him to continue to lead an impartial investigation into Russian involvement with Trump associates.

“Chairman Nunes is falling down on the job, and seems to be more interested in protecting the president than in seeking the truth,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader.

Late Monday, Nunes’ Democratic counterpart on the Intel committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, called on Nunes to recuse himself from any further invovlement in the Russia investigation. Rep. Nancy Pelosi followed suit.

Late Monday, a spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan sent the following statement to CBS News:

“Speaker Ryan has full confidence that Chairman Nunes is conducting a thorough, fair, and credible investigation.”

It is unclear why Nunes chose to view the classified information at a secure location on White House grounds. There are similar facilities in other government buildings.

Nunes says he needed access to a specific computer network that wasn’t available on Capitol Hill.