This is my attempt at explaining this without any bias.
Nunes had various intelligence community employees, through official and proper clearance channels (not like Snowden or other illegal leakers), approach him after Comey's hearing and give him copies of intelligence reports on Trump and many of the members of his transition team. These were collected and made during the November to January transition period.
Nunes is not revealing who these people are to protect them (the intelligence officials who came forward). This is apparently in response to Nunes asking during Comey's Congressional hearing, that any intelligence official with information on possible "Trump wiretapping" come forward if they have anything (or forever hold your peace).
These are official, primary source, intelligence reports on Trump and his transition team. This would indicate Trump and his transition team had intelligence collected on them from November 2016 to January 2017, but Nunes would not speculate if this had gone on before this time (Nov-Jan). Nunes notes that these monitoring activities look legal. But what troubles him about this is three specific things:
After watching the press conferences over and over again, this is what I have surmised. This is my attempt at unraveling what Nunes shared today.Direct links to the information: https://www.c-span.org/video/?425829-1/devin-nunes-confirms-incidental-surveillance-trump-transition-team https://www.c-span.org/video/?425836-1/devin-nunes-briefs-president-transition-team-surveillance
- This intelligence was made into foreign intelligence reports and disseminated throughout the intelligence community (previous Whitehouse, NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.) as official reports. Meaning the intelligence community took the "incidentally collected information (as Nunes puts it)" or however it was collected (unsure at this time) and processed it into something that could be used in the intelligence community. Like taking parts of a car and making it into a car. They didn't just let it sit around.
- The reports did not apparently present any information on Russia or other possible investigations. They were not part of a criminal investigation. There is no apparent reason why these reports were made and this information was collected. He is unsure why they happened or why they were made into official reports instead of just sitting around like any other of the mass intelligence collecting the NSA/CIA does.
- When making this collected information into reports, the NSA/CIA (unsure at this time), revealed the names of the people as part of the information. Normally when this type of information is collected, the names of the individuals to whom the intelligence information is connected is kept secret and segregated. Nunes multiple times confirms that multiple Trump transition team members were "unmasked" in these reports. Meaning that this information was collected, organized, and attributed to certain people. This would allow multiple intelligence agencies (because the reports were mass-shared) to catalog and monitor these people, or possibly leak it.
Edit: Thank you for the gold
DEEPER clarification and summary on Nunes remarks at both press conferences - what I surmised from his remarks later in the day:
The crux of the situation, according to Nunes' remarks, is that while these reports are from collateral intelligence from FISA warrants on other actors ("incidental collection"), that what was done with the "incidental intelligence" is fishy (according to him).
Meaning, while the target was not technically Trump, the people targeted for monitoring (which yielded the intelligence made into reports), did not seem to be related to any significant foreign intelligence importance or related to any investigations or Russian stuff (#2 above). But yet, as soon as these communications were intercepted, reports were quickly created from these "incidental collecting" about Trump and his transition team (he answered a question saying they were made 'fairly quickly' after the intelligence was collected, not sat on). It looks like Nunes, is giving a slight hint that he is concerned a FISA warrant to tap these unimportant targets (in his opinion) might simply have been a conduit to collect data on Trump, as evidenced by the actions immediately after it was collected - reports were made, no apparent need to be made or connection to Russia / investigation, people were unmasked, these unmasked reports were disseminated to the entire intelligence community.
But this is not proven. This is simply what Nunes seems to be implying by his responses to press questions.
"The reason we do this, and the reason we have all these procedures in place, is to protect US citizens who might be incidentally collected. There are certain thresholds that have to be met in order to make a foreign intelligence product. There are things to me that don't reach the level of foreign intelligence value. If that's the case, you have to ask, "Why did this end up in reports?"-Nunes