Last week, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee held a press conference in which he provided political cover for Donald Trump by revealing leaked classified information suggesting that the President and other members of his transition team were picked up incidentally during Obama-era surveillance of foreign agents legally conducted under a FISA warrant.
To be clear, there was nothing illegal about this surveillance. To be extra clear, we still don’t know who Trump and his transition team was talking to when they were recorded by the FBI. To be extra extra clear, Nunes took that information to the President — who is under criminal investigation — before showing it to the other members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Nevertheless, Donald Trump claimed “vindication” for the unsubstantiated allegation he made on Twitter suggesting that President Obama had his phone wiretapped in Trump Tower (Obama did not).
In the days subsequent to Nunes’ press conference, there have been calls for Nunes to step down from the House Intelligence Committee because it is clear that he cannot investigate a President with whom he is also providing political cover.
Moreover, there have been suggestions — by even some in the House Intelligence Committee — that the source for Nunes’ leak was the White House itself, and on Friday, Nunes didn’t deny it. The man pushing for investigation into illegal leaks asserted that he could not reveal the source of his illegal leak.
Now we know that the day before Nunes’ press conference revealing the leaked information, Nunes was at the White House. We also know that Nunes met the source for his information at the White House.
But, Nunes says, the information didn’t come from the White House. He merely met with his source at the White House because it gave him a “secure location where he could view the information provided by the source.”
Got that? The White House isn’t the source for the leak; Nunes merely met the source of the leak AT the White House because it’s a more secure location than, say, his office in the House of Representatives, which probably means that Nunes and the entire House Intelligence Committee should be doing all of their work in the White House, because it’s the only secure place to discuss these matters.
Devin Nunes is not really handling this whole thing that seamlessly— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) March 27, 2017
You guys, Devin Nunes is really bad at lying. It is so hilariously evident that this entire ordeal was orchestrated by the White House from the very beginning, and that Devin Nunes is a hapless pawn in the machinations of Stephen K. Bannon.