Nunes's stepping aside came after weeks of public tensions between himself and Adam Schiff, the Democratic vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina spoke Thursday after a closed-door committee meeting that was attended by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Nunes, who worked on Trump's transition team, is not the first Trump-affiliated Republican to step down in the Russian Federation investigation.

When FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the committee about Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election, Conaway, recalled the Post, told Comey he was not sure he believed the intelligence community's insistence Russian Federation tried to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in the election.

Nunes has no one but himself to blame for this unforced error. There was concern that the presser showed Nunes was too entangled with Trump to properly investigate the Trump campaign.

Pelosi called on Trump to "declassify the basis" of his comment and said, "It's time for him to be president, to be the manager". Rice said it was "absolutely false" that she had done so improperly or that she had leaked intelligence information. "How low can you go?" Trump would not say whether he reviewed new intelligence to support his claim. "House Ethics decided they don't need to wait for OCE's recommendation, that the potential violation is so grave that they need to investigate right away".

If evidence emerges that the procedures created to protect Americans' privacy were overridden for political purposes during the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations, that obviously justifies an investigation by the House Intelligence Committee and its counterpart in the Senate, which is also investigating Russian interference in last year's election. Toadying to the White House just isn't a great career move.

Nunes announced Thursday morning that he would temporarily step aside as head of the committee's investigation into Russian hacking.

The California Republican's decision comes amid partisan turmoil on the committee.

Schiff said Conaway does not have the same history with the White House that Nunes does.

The incident cast a cloud over the committee's investigation, and over Nunes in particular. He described the charges as "entirely false and politically motivated", and said he was stepping aside to fight all the allegations.

He said he would continue to fulfill his other duties as committee chairman, but said Representative Mike Conaway will take charge of the investigation, with assistance from Representatives Trey Gowdy and Tom Rooney. The charges were filed by Democracy 21 and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, two admittedly liberal watchdog nonprofits. And in doing so, according to this complaint, he might have revealed classified information.

However, Mr Nunes at one point during a March 22 news conference said that what he was discussing was "all classified information". The ensuing chaos rocked the House investigation and led some lawmakers to declare it dead, but Republicans and Democrats have slowly been setting it back on course.

House Republican leaders, including speaker Paul Ryan, praised Nunes. "He did so in the best interests of the committee and I respect that decision", Schiff said.

"I am confident (Conaway) will oversee a professional investigation into Russia's actions and follow the facts wherever they lead", Ryan said. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a separate probe of Russian meddling in the election.