House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) announced today that the investigation of ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives has yielded “no evidence” to support such allegations.
While addressing reporters today, Nunes expressed doubt that the Trump-Russia ties even exist and said, “As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist…What I’ve been told by many folks is that there’s nothing there.”
“It’s been looked into and there’s no evidence of anything there. Obviously, we would like to know if there is”, Nunes told reporters.
Nunes also stated that their will be no special prosecutor assigned to the case, along with rejecting the argument that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from any probe that happens to take place.
Rather than allocating further resources to what is turning out to be a wasted effort, Nunes said that “major crimes” have taken place in regards to the leaking of sensitive information from the government to the press. This includes confidential details of Trump’s private phone calls with foreign leaders, in-house memos and other classified materials.
“There’s been major crimes committed,” Nunes said, referring to the leaks. “What I’m concerned about is no one is focusing on major leaks that have occurred here. . . . We can’t run a government like this. A government can’t function with massive leaks at the highest level.”
This is the first time a leading House Republican — in this case, the lawmaker who is leading the investigation in the lower chamber — has said flatly that he has not seen any evidence of inappropriate communications between Trump aides and Russia. The FBI is investigating Russia’s role in last year’s elections, and potential ties between Trump associates and Russia.
Nunes also discredited a Washington Post report that claimed, citing anonymous “officials” as their source, that the White House reached out to the FBI and others to challenge the media’s numerous reports on Trump’s alleged Russian ties.
Nunes said the White House had not asked him to knock down such reports. He described his contacts as an effort to work more closely with the press.
Nunes said he had been briefed on a transcript of a phone call that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had with a Russian envoy after the election. He said he did not hear anything worrisome about that call.
The Republican lawmaker also came to the defense of retired General Mike Flynn, who earlier this month was forced out of his White House position due to a media blitz over a phone call to Russia in December of last year.
Nunes said we should be thanking Flynn for his service to the country and that the retired lieutenant general was only trying to prepare a new president for office. He said he has not seen the transcripts of Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador, which would have been “illegally leaked” if he had.
Although Nunes has effectively thrown cold water on the media fire of “Trump-Russia connections”, I wouldn’t expect this narrative to die easy, as it’s the main springboard for their claims that Trump is a “illegitimate president” and the only reason he won the election was due to Russian involvement.
Once the investigation is officially concluded and any claims of Russian involvement with the Trump campaign is put to bed, the media will lose a vital component to their attacks on the president. Although they will undoubtedly continue to grasp at any straw they can reach to try and maintain their credibility, the press is rapidly unloading their ammo in the opening months of Trump’s administration, which could leave them woefully unprepared to lead the anti-Trump agenda during the coming years.