In a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer flatly declined to address the report, vaguely challenging its accuracy but refusing to address any of the specifics.
Spicer would not say whether the information now offered to other top level members of intelligence committees was the same that Nunes had seen.
Nunes has repeatedly sidestepped questions about who provided him the intelligence reports, though he pointedly has not denied that his sources were in the White House.
"If that was created to hide the origin of the materials, that raises profound questions about just what the White House is doing that need to be answered", he said. So these NSC revelations leaked to Nunes may turn out to be an irrelevant sideshow, depending on what Flynn has to say - and whether or when he says it.
The top Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff, faulted the White House for waiting until Friday to share with him information it provided to his Republican counterpart last week. Nearly a month ago, she was on MSNBC talking about the issue of Russian meddling, and whether there were ties to the Trump campaign, or associates of the President.
Asked whether Trump is anxious that Flynn's story will include damaging information about Trump, Spicer gave a one-word reply: "Nope".
Later in the briefing, Spicer had a somewhat tense back and forth with Glenn Thrush of The New York Times regarding the timeline of Nunes' White House visit and who was aware of his presence on the 18-acre campus that contains multiple buildings. Instead, the official said, Cohen was assembling materials out of concern that intelligence information on US people was being shared too widely and that unmasking rules were being abused.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday the material the White House wants the House and Senate intelligence leaders to view was discovered by the National Security Council through the course of regular business. Flynn quit the White House on the evening of February 13.
If true, The Times report would prove that Nunes lied to the media about the source of the information that he discussed in a press conference last week, and that he may also have misled the public about the contents of the documents he claimed to have reviewed. The other, Michael Ellis, is a White House lawyer and former counsel to Nunes' committee.
"American intelligence agencies typically monitor foreign officials of allied and hostile countries, and they routinely sweep up communications linked to Americans who may be taking part in the conversation or are being spoken about", the Times report adds.
On Monday night, the president used a twitter storm to criticize the House committee's investigation into Russian meddling by question why the panel is not examining a decision that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, was involved in that "allowed big Uranium to go to Russia".
Later, CNN's Jim Acosta asked if the White House had any proof of unlawful surveillance by the Obama administration of the Trump campaign or transition team.
The officials all spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the intelligence and to avoid angering Cohen-Watnick and Ellis.
"I don't know why", Spicer said, the House Intelligence Committee chairman would "come down here to brief us on something that we would have briefed him on".
A spokesman for Ryan later said the speaker was not aware of Nunes' source and continues to have "full confidence" in the congressman's ability to run the Russian Federation investigation. Farkas said, "I was urging my former colleagues and. the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration". And while the order did not expressly address the Paris climate agreement, it made it made clear that the U.S. is unlikely to meet the carbon emissions reductions the deal calls for.