President Donald Trump “needs to be careful about who he listens to” when dealing with allegations of political bias in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI and the people’s “right to know,” House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif., pictured above right) warned Monday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“That’s really my biggest problem with the Department of Justice and the FBI, is that every time we try to get something out to the public, they cry wolf and they claim there’s going to be national security implications,” Nunes told Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“The president, I think, you know — he’s a smart guy, but he needs to be careful about who he listens to, I think sometimes,” he said.
“We have now proven that the only collusion that happened was collusion with the Democrats and the Clinton campaign and the Russians.”
“We believe the people have a right to know this information, and it needs to be made public,” Nunes said. “And we want the president to declassify it. The president has mentioned that he would … So I just don’t know what they’re thinking here.”
He added: “Everything that we did on our committee, we had to do. We had to make sure the American public knew that this information about what somebody was doing to basically set up a campaign and accuse them of colluding with Russians was really wrong.”
The California Republican pointed to the influence that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (above left) reportedly had over Trump’s reversal involving the declassification of the FBI’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and renewals for surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Rosenstein signed off on the applications.
After Trump initially announced that he would order the declassification, he reversed course after meeting with Rosenstein and other intelligence community members, Nunes said.
Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm used by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to peddle negative allegations against Trump from sources linked to Russian interests.
Fusion GPS used former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the negative information into what became known as the Steele dossier, which the FBI used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on Page.
“We have now proven that the only collusion that happened was collusion with the Democrats and the Clinton campaign and the Russians,” Nunes said. “I’ll tell you, I still want to know why nobody’s investigating the Russians, [whom] the Democrats and the Clinton campaign were talking to, through Fusion GPS, and feeding that information into the FBI?”
Rosenstein’s own future with the DOJ became uncertain in late September when The New York Times stunned much of Washington, D.C., with a report that Rosenstein “suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration.”
The Times also reported that Rosenstein allegedly “discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.”
Rosenstein’s suggestions reportedly occurred shortly after Trump abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
Although The Times’ sources suggested that Rosenstein’s wiretapping comment was made seriously, a source for The Washington Post insisted it was a quip made in jest. Even if Rosenstein ever made such suggestions, the reporters noted that they never came to fruition.
Trump and Rosenstein finally met Monday in the wake of the bombshell reports. The president later insisted that he has “no” plans to fire Rosenstein.
“No, I don’t. No,” Trump told reporters when asked if he planned on firing the deputy attorney general. “The press wants to know, ‘What did you talk about?’ ‘We had a very good talk,’ I will say. That became a very big story, actually. We had a good talk.”
Nunes told Ingraham, “Look, I don’t think any of us think that Rosenstein should be dismissed before the elections.”
“I think [Rosenstein] does have to come in this week and answer whether or not he was willing to wear a wire or not and whether or not he was looking at invoking the 25th Amendment,” Nunes insisted. “Those are key questions that he’s gonna answer before the Russia task force this week, supposedly on Thursday.”