US House Speaker backs intelligence panel chair in Russia probe

Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said he had full confidence in Devin Nunes, who heads the House of Representatives intelligence committee and is under fire for his handling of an investigation into possible Russian ties to Trump's aides.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) crosses paths with reporters as he departs Speaker Paul Ryan's office at the US Capitol in Washington, US. March 24, 2017.

Updated Mar 29, 2017

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said on Tuesday there was no need for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to recuse himself from the investigation into possible Russian ties to President Donald Trump's election campaign.

Devin Nunes, an ally of the president, has been leading an inquiry into the Trump administration's links with Russian officials during the 2016 election campaign.

Nunes announced last week without providing a source that he had information that Trump aides and associates may have been ensnared in incidental intelligence collection before the president took office. He also admitted visiting the White House before he made this announcement.

Later on Tuesday, Nunes said he will not share who gave him the intelligence reports about Trump and his associates with other members of the House committee.

Critics say his disclosure was an effort to justify Trump's accusations that former president Barack Obama had tapped Trump Tower during the campaign in 2016.

Democrats accused the chairman of the intelligence committee of being too close to the president and have called on him to step aside. Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic leader, called for the removal of Nunes on Monday.

TRT World 's Tetiana Anderson has more on the controversy from Washington DC.

TRTWorld and agencies