A key House of Representatives leader expressed dismay on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller has shown no apparent interest in investigating illegal leaks of classified information, and accused his Democratic colleagues of “Stalinist” tactics in creating a false collusion narrative.
Speaking a day after the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence concluded it had found no evidence that President Donald Trump conspired with Russian interests to sabotage 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the only crimes his panel uncovered involved the publication of classified information about the counterintelligence probe that included eavesdropping on Trump associates.
“I remain concerned with the special counsel, even though I was one who at the beginning of it strongly supported Mueller’s appointment,” he said. “And I strongly supported it because we had already been investigating for several months at the time, and we found no evidence — not even one sliver of evidence — that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia.”
Nunes (pictured above) said he believed then that Mueller would have focused on the leaks.
“Because those were the felonies that we knew of,” he said. “Yet I have zero evidence that Mueller’s even looked at the leaks or does not care about the leaks … Why would you not go where there’s an obvious felony that’s been committed? Why would you not start there?”
Meanwhile, Nunes said, Democrats and most of the media are working overtime to try to discredit the committee’s work and imply facts that have not been established.
“They believe that if they tell a lie long enough, that eventually it becomes the truth,” he said in response to a statement Monday night by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) that denigrated him as a “messenger boy” for Trump. “It’s just classic Stalinist and Alinsky tactics that they use.”
The latter was a reference to Saul Alinsky, a left-wing community organizer famous for his 1972 guidebook, “Rules for Radicals.” Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and President Barack Obama were closely linked to Alinsky and his tactics.
Nunes said public life has made him accustomed to a left-wing press. What is new during the Trump era, he added, is a basic lack of any semblance of objectivity. He said the notion, repeated by Waters, that he went to the White House in the middle of the night to try to prove that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower is a “made-up story.”
Contrary to Waters’ assertion, Nunes said, he was the first person to say there was no evidence to back up the wiretapping allegation that Trump made in a tweet.
“At the end of the day, what did we really find out? It was the Hillary campaign that actually had the links to the Russians and got information — dirt — on Trump from Russians that they used during the campaign.”
“I get hit every single day — not with one or two stories,” he said. “There’s a dozen stories on any given day that are totally fabricated, totally false, regurgitating what they wrote months ago. And that’s just attacking me … There’s a clear attempt to try to discredit our investigation, when in fact, we’re the only investigation so far that’s actually come up with real, tangible evidence.”
That evidence includes the now-confirmed fact that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the anti-Trump dossier, produced by former British spy Christopher Steele, that was the basis of a surveillance warrant targeting Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
“At the end of the day, the one thing we discovered was, yeah, there was a lot of leaked classified information, but all of it was innuendo and spun into that somehow the Trump campaign had colluded with Russians,” he said.
“And at the end of the day, what did we really find out? It was the Hillary campaign that actually had the links to the Russians and got information — dirt — on Trump from Russians that they used during the campaign,” Nunes continued.
He added, “The Left and the media is out to destroy anyone who will disrupt their collusion narrative that they’ve bought into so many years.”
Nunes said he does not believe Democrats thought the collusion allegations would result in the appointment of a special counsel. He suggested the goal was to rile up liberal voters ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
On that score, he added, Democrats have succeeded.
“Their base is absolutely motivated to get out and go vote, and it’s largely because of Russia, even though there’s no evidence that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” Nunes said.