After a weekend where his much hyped-memo was derided as a “nothing burger” by anyone who bothered to read it critically, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to extend his litany of lies on behalf of President Trump.
Still trying to salvage his memo from complete irrelevancy, Nunes attacked the premise that many people who’ve read the memo have seized upon as the major issue that disproves what the House Intelligence Committee Chairman is claiming that the memo indicates.
Buried in the last paragraph of Nunes’ memo is this sentence:
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“The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.”
Referring to Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, the sentence undermines the notion that the FBI investigation was triggered by anything related to the infamous Steele dossier that the memo claims was used improperly to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page (who had been on the FBI radar as a person of interest with extensive Russian contacts for years before Trump even announced his candidacy.)
Nunes told the Fox & Friends hosts that Papadopoulos played only a minor role in the campaign, a typical administration talking point disproven many times. He took his claims one step further into the realm of fiction with his next statement, however.
“As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos … never even had met with the president,” Nunes blatantly declared.
With his credibility already severely damaged by the unfounded claims about the contents of his memo, Nunes risks being laughed out of Congress for telling a lie so easily disproved by photographic evidence, like this official Trump campaign photo with Papadopoulos highlighted for easy identification.
While no one seems to be wearing name tags, presumably meaning they already know each other, that is the President sitting with just three people away from his foreign policy aide.
One can see why Trump would want to distance himself from his former advisor, given that Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to an indictment by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian agents.
However, the fact that the former aide edited foreign policy speeches and set up meetings with foreign leaders for then-candidate Trump is undeniable.
With Nunes appearing on President Trump’s mandatory morning TV viewing destination, it was inevitable that Trump would reward his lapdog’s slavish devotion and willingness to emulate his inability to make factual utterances. He went on Twitter and immediately threw a bone to the Congressman in the form of a tweet lavishly praising Nunes for his championship level of mendacity.
Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2018
One can only imagine how difficult it must be to endure that much time with your head firmly embedded in Trump’s posterior, but at least Piers Morgan has some company.