The House Republican who was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation now says it never happened and was "essentially made up by the media."
In April, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was forced to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Now he’s absurdly claiming that never happened.
In a radio appearance on the Ray Appleton Show on KMJ, a Fresno-based news/talk station, Nunes said his recusal was “essentially made up by the media” and that “what happened was the media began this narrative that I had recused myself, when in fact all I said was hey, I’m going to temporarily step aside from leading this.”
NUNES: First of all, I never recused myself. This was essentially made up by the media. What I said was look, fine, you guys want to accuse me of these things, come in take a look, you can see I didn’t disclose any classified information. So it was a bogus attack by left-wing groups. And then what happened was is the media began this narrative that I had recused myself, when in fact all I said was hey, I’m going to just temporarily step aside from leading this.
APPLETON: I am glad you clarified that because you did not recuse yourself.
NUNES: I did not recuse myself. And I put Gowdy and Rooney and Conaway in charge. And what you have happening here is the media likes to repeat that because the media is trying to discredit me because the media knows, and the Democrats know, and the past Obama admin knows that I know who was doing the unmasking.
While heading up the committee’s investigation Nunes was involved in a series of unusual statements and actions. He met with Trump at the White House and officials of the Trump administration and claimed, without evidence, that Trump had been under surveillance by President Barack Obama’s administration.
This prompted figures like Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi to describe his behavior as “bizarre,” and prompted a demand from Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, to call for Nunes to stand down from his position.
The groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Democracy 21 requested an ethics inquiry into Nunes after his actions.
In April, Nunes released a statement accusing “leftwing activist groups” of attacking him, and, while he denied the many allegations against him, he said it was “in the best interests of the House Intelligence Committee and the Congress” for him to put Reps. Mike Conaway, Trey Gowdy, and Tom Rooney “temporarily” in charge of the committee’s Russia investigation.