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Report: Surveillance on President Began Before He was GOP Nominee

President Donald Trump
According to FOX News sources inside the intelligence community, surveillance on President Donald Trump and his campaign began before he was the Republican Party presidential nominee last year. (Reuters photo)

If it weren't previously obvious that President Donald Trump's tweets about Obama administration surveillance against him and his presidential campaign during the 2016 election were meant to be metaphorical bread crumbs for the media, the latest development in "Russiagate" certainly gives it away.

FOX News began reporting over the weekend that the surveillance on Trump and his associates began before he was even the Republican Party's presidential nominee. Citing sources outside the Trump administration, Adam Housley also said he had the name of at least one of the people who has been illegally leaking the classified information to the media, although he did not "out" that person during Friday's broadcast of Outnumbered.

The "unmasking"—revealing the identity of Americans "incidentally captured" during surveillance of foreign officials—was done "purely for political reasons," not for any reason related to national security or foreign intelligence, he added. Quoting his sources, he said, "It had everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team."

Housley said a "very well-known, very high-up, very senior" intelligence official was involved in the unmasking and that House Permanent Selection Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had been made aware of it in January, but had been blocked by intelligence officials from viewing the intercepts he informed the public about late last month.

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"It took, obviously, a number of weeks to try to figure out a way for him to see this intelligence, because the agencies were stonewalling, we're told, to allow him and others to see it," he added. "This is all coming from folks that are in these agencies and frustrated with the politics that is taking place in these agencies."

The president didn't take this new development lightly. He responded Saturday with the following statement on Twitter:

"Wow, @FoxNews just reporting big news. Source: 'Official behind unmasking is high up. Known Intel official is responsible. Some unmasked not associated with Russia. Trump team spied on before he was nominated.' If this is true, does not get much bigger. Would be sad for U.S."

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