The Soap Opera of the Week……..
Rep. Devin Nunes has made the headlines now for almost a week….it seems he cannot stop talking long enough to get his stories straight.
The story is that Nunes as head of the House intel committee had some info and instead to dealing with his committee he ran to Trump with the news.
The night before House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes dropped a bombshell Wednesday, claiming President Trump’s transition team communications had been “incidentally collected” by US intelligence agencies, he disappeared out of an Uber. He was in the car with a senior committee staffer when he got a communication on his phone and abruptly exited the vehicle without telling that staffer what he was doing or where he was going, multiple sources tell the Daily Beast. The following morning, he announced the press conference at which he made the surveillance claims; even his own aides didn’t know what he had planned for the press conference before it was held. Days later, the bizarre series of events is making headlines, and the Guardian reports that the incident could endanger the committee’s Trump-Russia inquiry.
After the press conference Wednesday, Nunes went to the White House to brief President Trump, after which Trump said he felt “somewhat” vindicated (since he claimed then-President Obama had wiretapped him during the election), even though Nunes still says Trump Tower was never wiretapped. Nunes has since apologized for going directly to Trump, a controversial move. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has referred to Nunes’ Uber departure as a “peculiar midnight run,” criticizing Nunes for “what appears to be a dead of night excursion.” He says Nunes, who was a member of the Trump transition team, is acting more like a “surrogate” for Trump than a leader of a bipartisan investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s team and Russia during the election. Nunes has since called off a second committee hearing on the matter that had been scheduled for Tuesday; the Guardian says the committee’s entire investigation may be “in danger of unraveling.”
After pissing up everything Nunes has tried to apologize……
The GOP chairman of the House panel exploring possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign apologized in private to his Democratic colleagues Thursday for his controversial decision to brief President Trump before them on new information, while CNN is out with a potentially big development. Here’s a look at developments:
- “It was a judgment call on my part,” Rep. Devin Nunes told reporters Thursday about his decision to call a news conference, then visit the White House, to assert that communications of Trump associates may have been picked up “incidentally” in surveillance. Behind closed doors, he apologized to angry Democrats for the move, reports the Guardian.
- The Lawfare blog does a deep dive into that Nunes news conference here, finding that what he’s alleging is a “bit opaque.”
- The larger development comes via CNN, which reports that the FBI is investigating whether Trump associates communicated with Russian operatives during the campaign to coordinate the release of information hackers stole from Democrats. The agency is looking at travel, business, and phone records, and other accounts of meetings, per the report, which notes that the information is so far “not conclusive.” Read it in full here.
- A post at Vox sees the CNN story as “stunning” if true because “it is the first such report suggesting that the FBI may have credible information—say, an account of a meeting where collusion was discussed, to give one wholly hypothetical example—of a possible Trump campaign-Russia plot against Hillary Clinton.” Read the assessment here.
- When asked by Chuck Todd of NBC News whether the evidence of collusion was circumstantial, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence panel responded, “I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.” That’s further than Adam Schiff would go just last weekend, but things seem to have changed. “There is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of an investigation,” Schiff said.
- Schiff separately lashed out at Nunes for his Wednesday press conference, accusing him of being a “surrogate” of the president instead an independent panel chairman. The public sniping prompted Sen. John McCain to call for a special committee to step in to investigate the alleged Russian ties because the House panel has “lost the credibility to handle this alone,” per Politico.
- Trump, meanwhile, tweets that news accounts of what’s going on are “totally biased and fake.”
- Breitbart has a post with “four major holes” on the allegations Schiff made against Trump at FBI chief James Comey’s hearing, including his reliance on a “discredited” former British intelligence official. Read it here.
Nunes talks and crap falls out of his mouth…..
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer admitted on Monday that it was “possible” that someone at the White House leaked surveillance information to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) that was later used to defend President Donald Trump’s wiretap allegations.
Nunes confirmed this week that he received intelligence about the alleged surveillance while visiting White House grounds. He has insisted, however, that White House staffers were not the source of the information.
But during his Monday press briefing, Spicer suddenly struck a very different tone. He said he’s not concerned about the possibility that someone in the White House leaked to House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Nunes, in a clumsy attempt to validate Trump’s discredited claim that Obama wiretapped him in October, announced Wednesday that he had learned Trump transition officials had been incidentally and legally surveilled. After holding a news conference on the subject, he headed to the White House to brief Trump personally.
Nunes got the intel from the White House but they were not his source….really?
Come on people you gotta love this type of total bullshit…it is amusing and disturbing all at the same time.
All this could be put to bed when the hearing by the Intel Committee met on Tuesday….not happening!
– The White House says reports it tried to keep Sally Yates from testifying on ties between Russia and the Trump campaign are “100% false.” The Washington Post reported Tuesday that, according to documents it received, the White House was planning on claiming presidential communication privilege to prevent Yates from testifying on certain matters. The former acting attorney general was fired by Trump in January but had been deeply involved in the investigation of Michael Flynn before that. She was scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, but chairman Devin Nunes canceled that hearing, angering Democrats on the committee, CNN reports. According to NBC News, Nunes denies discussing Yates’ testimony with the White House.
And the plot thickens….tune in tomorrow…..I am sure that episode 5 will be as silly as the previous ones.