Congressman Devin Nunes sorry after Trump surveillance claim row

A Republican Congressman has apologised after saying that post-election communications of Donald Trump's team were picked up by US intelligence agencies through "incidental collection".

The claims were made by the chairman of the House intelligence committee Devin Nunes on Tuesday.

He later said sorry to Democrats on the panel for not talking to them first, according to a committee aide.

"He apologised to the minority on the committee today for going public and to the (White House) with his announcement yesterday, before sharing the information with the minority," the aide said.

"He pledged to work with them on this issue and share information with them about it."

Mr Nunes had said at a press conference that, while the type of surveillance conducted was legal, it was "totally unacceptable" that individuals whose communications had been monitored were named in "widely disseminated" reports.

His initial comments sparked a political row after the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, Adam Schiff, slammed Mr Nunes for not sharing the information with the committee before releasing it to the public.

"This is not how you conduct an investigation," he said.

After the committee's regular classified meeting, Mr Nunes said: "There was a lot going on yesterday and it was a judgement call on my part.

"At the end of the day, sometimes you make the right decisions and sometimes you make the wrong ones but you've got to stick by the decisions you make."

Speaking on the NBC Today show Republican Senator John McCain also criticised the congressman, saying it was "disturbing" that he was publicly airing often-secret information.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Nunes said the "incidental collection" of the Trump's team's communications was not linked to an FBI investigation into links between the Trump team and Russian officials.

The Congressman also said his information did not support President Trump's claims that Barack Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower .

However the President said he felt "somewhat" vindicated following Mr Nunes' statement and his press secretary Sean Spicer called the announcement a "startling revelation".

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