Bill O’Reilly seemed so eager to help Rep. Devin Nunes’ clean up his missteps in deflecting from Donald Trump’s Russia problems that O’Reilly all but instructed Nunes what to say and do.
Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee tasked with investigating Russia’s interference in our election and whether any members of the Trump campaign assisted, is not exactly making himself look good these days.
Vox summed up the situation nicely:
One thing is clear: Nunes has spent more than a week trying to deflect attention from the FBI’s bombshell announcement that it is formally investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, but he’s actually been making Trump’s Russia problem even worse.
On The O’Reilly Factor last night, O’Reilly seemed annoyed at Nunes for not doing a better job of looking out for Trump’s interests in the Russia investigation.
O’Reilly seemed completely uninterested in why Nunes had abruptly canceled an open hearing with President Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Today, ranking member Adam Schiff said Yates would have testified about efforts by Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Adviser, to “cover up his secret conversations with the Russian Ambassador.”
Yet O’Reilly attacked FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers as "a little weaselly" for not appearing, after they had been scheduled in place of Yates, et al in a closed hearing. The replacement hearing was undoubtedly designed to help validate Trump’s lie about having been wiretapped. When O’Reilly demanded to know why Comey and Rogers were not going to appear, Nunes tried to assuage him by saying, “The NSA is cooperating with getting us information in a timely manner as it relates to American citizens who were picked up and unmasked in any type of surveillance.”
After making a “little jest” that “House Intelligence Committee” seemed an oxymoron after the Trumpcare vote (which did not go over well with Nunes), O’Reilly asked, “What, exactly, are you guys investigating?” He could have simply looked on their website to find out.
As Nunes explained, O’Reilly interrupted to shrug off the Russia part and get to the Trump-friendly part:
O’REILLY: So the Russians you’re investigating and then I assume you’re investigating the surveillance and the leaks, right? Is that right?
Nunes, of course, agreed. He got to his talking points that have gotten him in so much hot water about having discovered information “that had nothing to do with Russia” but “whether or not Americans were masked properly or, in fact, unmasked and I’m very concerned about that.”
O’Reilly interrupted again, this time to give Nunes a virtual elbow nudge about how to frame his behavior:
O’REILLY: Here’s what happened, in my opinion. You went to the White House to look at these documents, at least on White House grounds, alright? And then all the people who don’t like you and the conspiracy people said, “Oh, Trump gave it to him” because you went to the White House to look at it and the optics, as they say, were not good. Is that accurate?
Shocker! Nunes said that was accurate and then claimed “We go to the executive branch at least once or twice a week. This is not unusual because there are intelligence products that we don’t have access to in the House of Representatives.” He added, “I needed a place that I could actually go and find this information and review it.”
This should have raised more questions - such as why Nunes went to review intelligence and then share it with the White House without telling any of his colleagues. Also, the fact that the documents were at the White House suggests that they came from an administration source.
But O’Reilly didn’t ask any questions, perhaps because he was so anxious to get out Nunes’ next suggested talking point.
O’REILLY: So you went to the Old Executive Office Building – my guess – I know you’re not saying, my guess, OK? And you looked at it but they didn’t give it to you. You just saw it and then you went over to the president and told him what you saw. Is that accurate?
Why, yes it was.
“There was no sneaking around,” Nunes insisted.
“It’s another surveillance deal that we, we the people need to know about,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly never said a word about we the people needing to know if there are Russian traitors in the White House.
But before closing, O’Reilly lectured Nunes to be more antagonistic toward Schiff. “He’s not your friend. You know that, right? He’s not your pal. He wants you out. … You’re not gonna do that.”
It sounded like a command.
Watch Nunes in what O’Reilly calls The No Spin Zone below, from the March 27, 2017 The O’Reilly Factor.
The last time democrats did did any big time political digging was after Watergate. All the investigations done by democrats since then have lacked grit. It’s high time some republicans went to prison. And seeing Bill O’Reillys laughing face while bracing cheat Nunes is an ember for the coming fire.