Communication between the Senate and House Intelligence Committees has apparently broken down entirely

  • According to a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Senate body and its counterpart in the House have basically ceased working together on anything.
  • The split comes after it was revealed that Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee had leaked the text messages of Senate committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner.
  • The senator described the two committees, which used to work closely together, as being "worlds apart."

Days after news broke that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had leaked Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner's text messages to Fox News, a Senator on the Senate panel said relations between the two bodies had hit rock bottom.

"I would say there's not much of a relationship at this point, to tell you the truth," Sen. Angus King told host Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We're trying to just continue on on a bipartisan basis. You'll notice there haven't been all the memos and counter-memos and that kind of thing and there really isn't that much of a relationship."

"Were only a couple hundred yards apart, but it's worlds apart in terms of the way we've approached this," King added, referring to the Congressional investigation into Russian election meddling.

The House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, has descended into an unprecedented level of partisanship in recent months, spurred by the release of Nunes' controversial memo on alleged misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department with respect to the Russia investigation.

Ranking member of the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, released his own memo seeking to clarifying Nunes' claims. Both memos contained sensitive information that President Donald Trump had to declassify for them to release it.

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U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) briefs reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) walks out to brief reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) briefs reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) briefs reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speak with the media about the ongoing Russia investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA) questions FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers during a hearing into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
US Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) (R),Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) (2nd R) and Hubbard family members look on as US President George W. Bush (3rd R) signs the Hubbard Act in the Oval Office in the White House in Washington, August 29, 2008. The Hubbard Act protects the benefits of soldiers who leave the armed forces because they are the sole survivors in a family where other members have been killed in duty, and is named after the Hubbard family who lost two of their three sons in the war in Iraq. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)
Devin Nunes, a Republican from California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, walks through Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 24, 2017. Paul Manafort, former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, is willing to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in last years U.S. election, Nunes said today. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes speaks to journalists about upcoming investigation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC Friday March 24, 2017. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Unprecedented partisan conflict

The friction between the two committees reached a boiling point this week when The New York Times reported that members of the House Committee were the ones who leaked Warner's text messages to Fox News.

Warner had been texting Adam Waldman, the lobbyist of powerful Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, in an effort to get in touch with former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the so-called Trump-Russia dossier.

Deripaska also worked with President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and has frequently come up in events related to the Russia investigation.

In another incident in January, when Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr requested to see a copy of Nunes' memo prior to its release, he was duly rebuffed.

While the Senate Intelligence Committee has reportedly been functioning as normal, the House Committee on the other hand has become mired in infighting, which many experts and intelligence veterans have portrayed as a threat to national security.

"Of course it is [a threat to national security]," Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor-in-chief of the national security blog Lawfare, told Business Insider. "It's not even a subtle thing."

A former senior intelligence official contextualized his statement.

"I fear that the result of today's dynamic ... is not just hurt feelings in the intelligence community or the FBI or lowered morale," the official previously told Business Insider. "It is chiseling away at the standing of these institutions in the eyes of the American people."

Watch King's interview below:

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