Nunes' Abrupt Exit From an Uber Ride Is Making Headlines
As his committee's Trump-Russia investigation appears to be in danger
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2017 4:09 PM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2017 1:03 AM CDT
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 24, 2017.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – The night before House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes dropped a bombshell Wednesday, claiming President Trump's transition team communications had been "incidentally collected" by US intelligence agencies, he disappeared out of an Uber. He was in the car with a senior committee staffer when he got a communication on his phone and abruptly exited the vehicle without telling that staffer what he was doing or where he was going, multiple sources tell the Daily Beast. The following morning, he announced the press conference at which he made the surveillance claims; even his own aides didn't know what he had planned for the press conference before it was held. Days later, the bizarre series of events is making headlines, and the Guardian reports that the incident could endanger the committee's Trump-Russia inquiry.

After the press conference Wednesday, Nunes went to the White House to brief President Trump, after which Trump said he felt "somewhat" vindicated (since he claimed then-President Obama had wiretapped him during the election), even though Nunes still says Trump Tower was never wiretapped. Nunes has since apologized for going directly to Trump, a controversial move. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has referred to Nunes' Uber departure as a "peculiar midnight run," criticizing Nunes for "what appears to be a dead of night excursion." He says Nunes, who was a member of the Trump transition team, is acting more like a "surrogate" for Trump than a leader of a bipartisan investigation into alleged ties between Trump's team and Russia during the election. Nunes has since called off a second committee hearing on the matter that had been scheduled for Tuesday; the Guardian says the committee's entire investigation may be "in danger of unraveling."

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