The Senate Intelligence Committee now says that it is not formally investigating whether Ted Cruz may have revealed classified information when discussing the government’s ability to monitor phone records during Tuesday night’s Republican debate.
"The Committee is not investigating anything said during last night’s Republican Presidential debate," the two top members of the panel said in a joint bipartisan statement.
The statement comes after panel chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) told reporters this morning that he had directed his staff to look into the matter.
“I’m having my staff look at the transcripts of the debate right now,” Burr told reporters this morning.
A spokeswoman for Cruz said that the senator did not say anything that has not already been "widely reported."
“There’s nothing that Senator Cruz said last night that wasn’t widely reported and saturated in the public domain,” campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told NBC News.
Burr was initially referring to Cruz’s comments regarding recent changes in the metadata collection program, which was the subject of a testy exchange between Cruz and Sen Marco Rubio (R-FL), may have been classified.
“The old program covered 20 percent to 30 percent of phone numbers to search for terrorists, the new program covers nearly 100 percent,” Cruz said, “That gives us greater ability to stop acts of terrorism, and he knows that that's the case.”
Rubio began his response to Cruz by saying, “Let me be very careful when answering this, because I don't think national television in front of 15 million people is the place to discuss classified information.”
Rebecca Glover Watkins, who acts as the Communications Director for Chairman Burr, tweeted this just after the exchange:
Burr clarified that he did not see the exchange itself during last night's debate.
“I didn’t watch it. ‘The Voice’ was on," he said, adding "It was the final episode.”