The Nunes memo has been released, and it was far from the bombshell many Republicans promised. They acted as if it was going to reshape the political landscape in their favor. Trump himself even admitted behind closed doors before its release that he thought it would help end the Russia investigation. The GOP touted it like some magical ace in the hole.
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Instead, we got a cherrypicked report, cobbled together and lacking context, that was laughable in how underwhelming it was. All the memo ended up showing was that the FBI surveilled Carter Page under FISA laws with some connections to the Steele dossier thrown in. It also showed that Page was surveilled after he officially left the Trump campaign.
While Nunes tried to create a narrative that the dossier was the sole reason the FBI started the investigation, the memo itself admits that the FBI was investigating George Papadopoulos before Page. The memo collapses under its own illogical weight.
Not surprisingly, the Fox News propaganda machine has gone into overdrive, with Sean Hannity, in particular, screeching that the memo is damning to the Democratic Party and that the Russia investigation must be ended immediately. It’s a pathetic, desperate attempt to stop Robert Mueller before he has a chance to pull down the Trump presidency.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted out that the memo “totally vindicates” him. Which, of course, it does not. The memo amounts to nothing. Furthermore, the House Intelligence Committee has voted to release the Democrat’s version of the memo, which provides context and destroys the narrative of the Nunes memo. The president has to sign off on the committee’s decision before the Dem memo is released. It remains to be seen if he will.
This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2018
Now, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been asked about his previous comment that the Nunes memo has nothing to do with the Mueller probe. A bleary-eyed Ryan said that he stands by that statement, but the reporter then asked what he thought of Trump’s claim of vindication.
Ryan then grew visibly uncomfortable and frantically tried to change the subject, demonstrating that trademark cowardice that has so fully come to define him.
He made the disingenuous claim that the Nunes memo debacle is really about FISA and oversight before quickly fleeing the cameras. In reality, the entire saga is an exercise is hack partisanship, as Nunes and Ryan try to shield the leader of the party. It’s pathetic.
REPORTER: Speaker Ryan, you said the Nunes memo had nothing to do with Mueller probe.
REPORTER: But Trump said the memo is 'complete vindication' for him. Why would the president say that if they are in fact unrelated?
RYAN: Look, let's change the topic. pic.twitter.com/34sVkPsOPn
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 6, 2018