Fox reporter John Roberts suggested that Devin Nunes' source for his big announcement, supposedly validating Donald Trump's claim to have been surveilled by President Obama, was someone currently in the White House. Roberts didn't want to say "collusion" or but he sure did hint.
On the day that a bombshell report revealed that Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has worked on behalf of Vladimir Putin, the Republican Congressman in charge of investigating Trump’s ties to Russia made what The Huffington Post described as a “friendly visit” to the White House and also announced to the public information clearly aimed at validating Trump’s bogus claim of having been wiretapped by President Obama.
More from Huffington Post:
U.S. intelligence agencies had intercepted Trump associates’ communications ― and perhaps those of Trump himself ― in the final three months of the Obama administration, Nunes said he told Trump.
In attempting to put out the Trump-Russia fire, [Nunes] made much of it worse: In two press conferences on Wednesday, he confirmed that Trump’s surrogates ― and maybe the president himself ― were subjects of legal surveillance, implied that they may have had suspicious contact with agents from a country other than Russia, and potentially disclosed classified information.
And by choosing to brief the president, who’s so closely tied to the investigation, before sharing his new information with his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Nunes also raised doubts about his own ability to lead his committee’s probe.
As Raw Story noted, Fox’s chief White House correspondent, John Roberts, had hinted, then walked back, the suggestion that Nunes had coordinated his efforts with the White House. But later, on The Five, Roberts seemed determined to make that point again.
In his discussion on The Five, Roberts responded to Trump-friendly comments from cohost Eric Bolling that “There’s more going on than we have been led to believe … [in] testimony in front of Congress.”
First, Roberts said he had thought the intercepted communications in question were between former national security advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador. But, according to Roberts, Nunes said it “goes beyond” just Flynn. Roberts also noted that because the information is classified, the public may never get the full story.
Then, Roberts volunteered this:
ROBERTS: What’s also interesting about this, too, I should point out, Eric, is the fact that according to Chairman Nunes, this didn’t come from the agencies. … It was an individual or individuals who came forward to tell him about this and that part also has the Democrats very, very upset as well.
Cohost and Trump fan girl Kimberly Guilfoyle asked if that meant that the information came from a "whistleblower." Perhaps that was why, she suggested, only Nunes, not any of his fellow Republicans, were privy to it.
Roberts all but told her to think again.
ROBERTS: If not a whistleblower, specifically, at least somebody who thought that he would want to have this information. But it is interesting. … Connect some of the dots here. The president said last week, “Hey, we expect that we’re going to hear something next week about this. Earlier in the week, I was told by a White House official when I said, “What are you doing to try to get this off the books so you can get out of the hole that’s been dug here?” They said, “Well, we’re working on that. And then, two days later, out comes Devin Nunes with information that was apparently given to him privately by an individual or individuals.
So, there are some dots here that you can connect in different ways. but do I want to say there was coordination? No, but it is interesting and curious, all the timing of this.
Watch the plot thicken below, from the March 22, 2017 The Five.
She told me that they had worked soooo hard on their presentation. That came back to me today when I heard Schiff saying that one reason an independent commission is needed is so it can have adequate staff and resources.
We’re in for a long fight (probably) and we don’t want to exhaust the House Intel Dems. After all they’ve got important work to do on other matters that are related to our national security.
The woman on the phone also thanked “me” (meaning Indivisible activists) for all the calls. She said her phone has been ringing off the hook and she said that the hearings would never have happened if it weren’t for all the calls to the GOP side.
Here’s the contact info: Dems (202) 225-7690, GOP (202) 225-4121
If you take a look at the headlines at actual news outlets like CNN rather than Fox News, you’ll see that there are real links starting to emerge about multiple Trump campaign members and Russian Intelligence. Not just rumor – actual intelligence that fills in the blanks of what James Comey was discussing this week. Someone inside the Pence White House is justifiably concerned that this will all blow up in Trump’s face, so they decided to float this story using Nunes as a front.
Should be interesting to see how badly this will backfire over the next couple of days…
Adam Schiff’s powerful response today made clear that the Nunes mess was not really part of the actual work the House Intelligence Committee does – Nunes actually may have jeopardized the work that the committee was trying to do by grandstanding like this. Dana Perino probably had the best take on this of any of the Fox News personalities – that Nunes clearly jumped the gun and should have waited before frantically running to the press and then hiding at the White House rather than actually doing his job.
But the real purpose of Nunes’ desperate flight can be seen in the programming suddenly done by Fox News and other Right Wing outlets to try to give Trump some friendly covering fire. Bill O’Reilly on his own decided this was going to be a story like Watergate and tried to use Bob Woodward to push his fantasy line on it. The reality? There’s no story here. Nunes was clearly trying to create a distraction that would validate some of the more bizarre statements our Tweeter in Chief has inflicted in the last month – and the Right is only too happy to jump on this moment to frantically yell “I told you so!” before saner voices like Schiff can be heard. Schiff’s presser was a lot more informative and a lot more disturbing than the fact of Nunes’ outburst. Schiff made clear that Nunes has gone rogue, even from members of his own party.) And Roberts makes clear that Nunes didn’t just do this on his own – add it up and you have a manufactured press event for the Right Wing. Everyone else will look at this for what it is – a desperate attempt to tell the public not to look at that man behind the curtain.