Dems cry WH interference as House Intel committee probes Trump-Russia ties

Trump, Russia collusion

WASHINGTON -- House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes is leading the House investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives.

He insisted there was nothing wrong with him and his Senate counterpart Richard Burr making a few calls at the request of Trump aides.

“What would be the problem of the White House sending me a number of a press person to call?” Nunes said Monday.  

FBI probing Russia ties of Trump's campaign inner circle

“All it was was a White House communications person passing a number and a name of a reporter over for me to call, following up on what I had already told all of you in the days before that,” he said.

But that, combined with reports that White House officials made similar requests to the CIA director and FBI officials, prompted fresh accusations from Democrats of White House tampering.

“We have to do this investigation bipartisan,” said Virginia’s Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“We have to not let a White House or any other political interference get in its way, because it’s too important,” Warner said.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer would not confirm or deny that CIA Director Mike Pompeo was asked to defend the campaign.

What's next in investigation of Trump team's possible Russia contacts?

“I’m not going to discuss what we did internally,” Spicer said.

And Nunes argued the probe is probably a dead end anyway.

“What I’ve been told by many folks is there’s nothing there,” he said.

“First of all, we haven’t obtained any of the evidence yet,” said Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

“We can’t draw any conclusions. And nor should we. We shouldn’t be prejudging where the facts lead,” he said.

Schiff added that he’s not convinced the FBI will share all its information with Congress. CBS News has confirmed that the FBI Counterintelligence Division is leading the investigation into whether Trump associates coordinated with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

  • Nancy Cordes
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    Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.