Yesterday, Devin Nunes — the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee — held a briefing saying that he received information that Donald Trump and/or his associates were being surveilled legally under a FISA warrant during the Trump transition. This information, which in no way supports Donald Trump’s assertion that he was wiretapped by President Obama, has nevertheless prompted Trump to say that he was “vindicated.”
OK, but let’s back up here: Devin Nunes was on the Trump transition team (and was possibly picked up on the surveillance). Moreover, Sean Spicer tried to use Devin Nunes to quiet rumors around potential collusion between Russia and Trump back in February. So, Nunes — who is supposed to be investigating the President — is also working for the President, and many see his press conference yesterday as an attempt to offer political cover for President Trump’s wiretap claims.
A few questions remain: 1) Who was Trump and/or his associates speaking with when he was “incidentally” recorded by the FBI. 2) Where did Devin Nunes get this classified information? And why is the guy spearheading an investigation into illegal leaks revealing an illegal leak? And then taking it to the public and the President before taking it to members of his own investigation team?
Today, there’s a new, even more confusing wrinkle, because Nunes was asked repeatedly if he received this classified information from the Trump Administration itself, and guess what? He refused to deny it, saying only that he would not reveal his sources.
If not from White House, he could just say no. For political cover, he's using secret squirrel terms he doesn't understand. Guy is a joke. https://t.co/iXCS9lgmqA— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) March 23, 2017
So, what does that mean? Potentially, that Nunes received classified intel about Trump from Trump, designed to provide political cover for Trump, which Nunes then briefed Trump on.
Confused? Yeah. No shit, you are. We all are.
Nunes has apologized to the House Intelligence Committee, although he did not specify for what he was apologizing. Meanwhile, another member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Jackie Speier, speculates — accurately, I think — that all of this was orchestrated from within the White House, that it was a “three-act play” put on by Donald Trump in order to cover his ass for false accusations against President Obama. It sure as hell sounds like it.
Speier also suggested that Nunes’ role in the House Intelligence Committee will be re-evaluated in the coming days. This guy is from California, too, so how safe could his district actually be? Because right now, this guy looks terrified, like a deer staring at a bright orange headlight wearing a bad tie that puts ketchup on his steak.