CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday grilled House Intel Committee chairman Devin Nunes over reports he met an intelligence source on White House grounds the day before he informed Donald Trump that he and members of his transition team may have been “incidentally surveilled” by intelligence agencies.
Nunes insisted he’d been concerned about the unmasking of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports long before Trump’s “famous tweet” alleging former President Barack Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.
Blitzer asked Nunes if he understands why it “might be conspicuous for the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to visit” the White House hours before unilaterally deciding to inform the president of potential intelligence gathered on Trump and members of his team.
Nunes argued there was nothing clandestine about meeting a source at the White House, adding, “if I wanted to, I could have snuck onto White House grounds at night when nobody would have seen me.”
Blitzer pressed Nunes on “who cleared [him] for admission” at the White House, arguing, “eventually these records, they’re going to come out anyhow.”
“Why not disclose it now if it’s going to be released in the near-future?” Blitzer asked. “You understand how all of this looks and why it’s causing such an uproar?”
Nunes argued the potential unmasking of additional names “bothered [him] enough for him to consider it “completely appropriate … to go to the president with this.”
At one point, Nunes grew exasperated by the magnitude of Blitzer’s question, complaining, “this is a lot of questions.”
“Do you understand why it might have been better to avoid this kind of meeting at the White House,” Blitzer asked again.
The CNN host also pressed Nunes about the president’s tweets alleging Obama had wiretapped him prior to the election.
“You don’t believe that, do you?” Blitzer asked, adding, “He should not feel vindicated?”
Watch the interview below, via CNN:
GOP scrambles to save it’s only Latina congressman as she heads towards a ‘fatal collision’ with Trump’s tribal politics
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) is female, Hispanic, and a rare sight when it comes to Republicans on the West Coast, who have seen their female ranks in the House cut in half since 2011. As she prepares to run for reelection, the fact that she doesn't represent the typical GOP ideals in 2019 creates challenges in and of themselves. But as a report from POLITICO this Wednesday points out, Republicans are committed to protecting her.
"But as the daily war machine hits overdrive with the impeachment proceedings, Herrera Beutler is wary of what message she is expected to deliver," POLITICO's Rishika Dugyala and Melanie Zanonaes write. "Yes, she voted against the impeachment inquiry in October, but she is far from an unquestioning supporter of President Donald Trump. In fact, she is open about the fact she wrote in former House Speaker Paul Ryan's name on her ballot in 2016. And yes, she subscribes to the party’s beliefs on Obamacare repeal and a barrier on the southern border. But she voted against the GOP’s health care bill to replace much of Obamacare, which would have left millions uncovered. And she was one of 13 Republicans who rebuked Trump for his national wall emergency, saying it set a 'dangerous' precedent to circumvent Congress. Matt Gaetz, she is not."
Fox News has always been bad — but this week shows it’s willing to destroy democracy for Trump
Fox News has been detrimental to democracy all along, but one journalist and historian believes it's gone fully off the rails this year and become a threat to national security.
Talk show host Stephen Colbert has been mocking the conservative network's commitment to "truthiness" for nearly 15 years, but 2019 has seen Fox News push out Russian disinformation campaigns and attack democracy itself to defend President Donald Trump from impeachment, reported Garrett Graff for Wired.
Donald Trump Jr. got special permission from the Mongolian government to kill endangered sheep — on your tax dollars
The rocky highlands of Central Asia, in a remote region of Western Mongolia, are home to a plummeting population of the largest sheep in the world, the argali. The endangered species is beloved for its giant curving horns, which can run over 6 feet in length.
On a hunting trip this August, Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed one.
His adventure was supported by government resources from both the U.S. and Mongolia, which each sent security services to accompany the president’s eldest son and grandson on the multiday trip. It also thrust Trump Jr. directly into the controversial world of Mongolian trophy hunting — a polarizing practice in a country that views the big-horned rams as a national treasure. The right to kill an argali is controlled by an opaque permitting system that experts say is mostly based on money, connections and politics.