U.S. House Speaker backs intelligence panel chair in Russia probe

By Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican in Congress on Tuesday stood by Devin Nunes, the head of the House of Representatives intelligence committee who is under fire over his handling of an investigation into possible Russian ties to President Donald Trump’s election campaign. Democrats and some prominent Republicans have criticized Nunes, a Trump ally, since he announced last week that U.S. security agencies had collected information on Trump’s transition team while conducting legal surveillance on other targets. Democrats see the surveillance accusations, which Nunes said were based on unspecified intelligence reports, as a distraction from the probe into possible Russian influence on last year’s election in Trump’s favor that has cast a shadow over the president’s first two months in office.

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