House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said Saturday there “was never any collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians”, calling on Washington to “stop chasing Russian ghosts around the closet”, Politico writes.
The California Republican’s remarks came a day after Trump appeared to acknowledge he is under investigation for firing FBI Director James Comey, as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Nunes, addressing Republican donors in Orange County, said that after searching for any evidence of collusion, he concluded that there was “no collaboration between Trump and the Russians”.
“I said ‘OK, I don’t think there’s any collusion here.’ And what happened to me? All the major papers in the country did a total character assassination on me. Why? Because I was telling the truth, that there was never any collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians”, Nunes said.
Nunes, who served on Trump’s transition team, in April stepped aside from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating his handling of classified information, Politico adds.
Furthermore, Nunes suggested the Russia investigation is distracting Washington from more pressing policy concerns. He said Republicans must do a “better job selling” their health care overhaul, for example, but that “part of it also means that we have to stop chasing Russian ghosts around the closet and actually get to real work”.
“Every night there’s a news story that runs that … has something in common. It’s anti-Trump, anti-Republican, and promotes this nonsense that you’re seeing with protesters everywhere. And they continue to promote it, which continues to promote violence. And you see the latest fiasco with, you know, cutting off Donald Trump’s head to attacking him on stage, or having a Julius Caesar play look like it’s him on stage. So, it didn’t surprise me, quite frankly”, he said.
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