Until he scurried off to the White House in a secret meeting where he fed the “president” misinformation which Trump then used to back up his unfounded claim that Barack Obama had him illegally wiretapped, most of the country had probably never heard of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Despite being chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, I highly doubt many people knew who he was.
Since then, besides repeatedly proving that he’s nothing but a lackey for Trump, he’s also made it clear that he’s someone who’s doing whatever he can to interfere and obstruct the on-going investigations, both by the FBI and Congress, into whether or not the “president’s” campaign colluded with Russia.
Though of all the outrageous things Nunes has said and done, I’m not sure if anything comes close to what he said during an interview with Fox News where he tried to claim that the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign partially funding the investigation that eventually produced the Steele dossier proves that the Democrats helped Russia become “successful in the sabotage” of last year’s election.
As reported by Talking Points Memo:
Nunes attempted to argue that revelations that Hillary Clinton and the DNC partly funded the research on Trump by former MI6 official Michael Steele could have biased the Congress and the intelligence community’s potential use of that information. (Republicans previously funded research about Trump.)
“With all of this commotion, and with all of the nonsense that was put out, don’t you think it would have been important for the Congress to know back in January, when we were first briefed on this Trump dossier, that it was actually paid for by the opposition party?” Nunes asked.
He continued: “So the people that made the Russians successful are the Democrats, and the people who have continued this nonsense over and over and over again, looking for Russians behind every tree. We continue to chase ghosts around and around this place.”
He also said it’s going to be a “major problem” if anything contained inside the dossier becomes part of any evidence Congress or the FBI might potentially try to use against Trump.
If you’re a little confused by his comments you should be, because they don’t make any sense. Nunes is trying to argue that Democrats have helped Russia by partially funding this dossier which helped raised doubts as to whether or not Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia. He’s also essentially suggesting that if the FBI were to use any of the information in the dossier, the partial funding of it somehow taints any and all evidence, even if it’s verified and factual. So he’s clearly laying the groundwork to claim that if the dossier is used in any way against Trump, that “proves” some sort of collusion between the DNC, Clinton, and the FBI.
This is all so completely insane — and flat-out stupid.
The problem with that “logic” — or lack thereof, I should say — is that Americans were accusing Trump of working with Russia months before anyone had heard of Christopher Steele or the rather scandalous information contained in that dossier.
The Steele dossier didn’t make Trump repeatedly praise Putin; force his son to meet with Russians promising dirt on Clinton last June; ask Russia to commit espionage against an American citizen; repeatedly cite information obtained via a Russian cyber attack; and continually attack U.S. intelligence agencies for saying Russia was behind the attack.
Well before election day, many Americans were already beginning to wonder if Trump was colluding with Russia. Not because of anything contained in a dossier they didn’t know existed — but because of the plethora of other information and odd behavior we had all witnessed.
As far as his claim that we’re looking for “Russians behind every tree,” I’m sorry, it’s not our fault that people associated with Trump, including his eldest son, keep getting caught lying about or concealing contact with Russians during last year’s election. Not with officials from China, Brazil, Italy, Germany, or Japan — just Russia.
Here’s a thought: Maybe if Trump wasn’t behaving like a textbook example of someone who’s guilty of the crimes of which he’s being accused, then people might not increasingly think he’s hiding something.
The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter who funded the research behind the Steele dossier. If the information obtained within that document can be verified to be legitimately factual, then it doesn’t matter if Clinton, some unknown Republican, or Santa Claus paid for it.
Despite the lies and propaganda Trump, Nunes, Republicans, and the conservative media are trying to push about this, there’s nothing illegal, or even really unethical, about a politician hiring an outside firm to look into the background of a political opponent. That’s as common to political campaigns as shaking hands and kissing babies.
Because once you shift through all that absurd misinformation and outrage the right-wing’s trying to push about this story, what it really boils down to is this was nothing more than ordinary opposition research. Yet because it involves Hillary Clinton and the DNC, because Trump, Nunes, and the conservative media know that their supporters get worked up into an irrational frenzy any time those names are mentioned, they know that if they keep trying to make routine political strategy into the “real Russia scandal,” the millions of people who were naive enough to think a reality TV con man should be “president” will be gullible enough to believe this nonsense, too.
Watch his comments below via Fox News: