Fox News’s Bret Baier interviewed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes just hours after the committee released a four-page memo alleging that the FBI withheld critical information from a secret court when obtaining a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign associate, Carter Page.
“This is outrageous that this happened,” Nunes, a member of the House intel committee, said of the findings outlined in the Republican memo. He told Baier he felt the memo had to be released to expose an abuse of surveillance powers, and to pressure the FBI and the DOJ to properly address the problem.
“I don’t believe somebody like Mr. Page should be a target of the FBI, especially using salacious information paid for by a political campaign like this dossier was, about Mr. Page, and then supplemented by a news story that was actually created by Christopher Steele himself, the author of the dossier,” he said. “This is outrageous that this happened.”
Nunes addressed reports saying the memo is based on documents the committee hasn’t read, noting Rep. Trey Gowdy reviewed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance applications the memo is based on, then briefed the rest of the committee. He also called concerns the release of the memo would endanger national security “a total fallacy,” and said the contents were carefully reviewed to ensure sources and methods of the intelligence community would not be revealed.
Democrats on the committee are calling false a memo assertion that then-deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe testified in a closed committee hearing that the dossier was crucial to obtaining the FISA warrant. “That is definitely what he said,” Nunes told Baier, adding he’s open to releasing the transcript of the hearing to prove it, but that would require a review process. He also flatly contradicted a claim from Democrats that the FISA court that granted the surveillance warrant was made aware of the political nature of the Steele dossier cited to gain the warrant.
Nunes characterized Democrats on the committee as dishonest actors who are not interested in the truth. “They know they’re not being honest actors, and I get tired of playing wack-a-mole everyday with the Democrats on this committee who never wanted to start this investigation in the first place,” he said, later adding: “These guys tell so many lies you can’t keep track of them.”
“The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016,” he said. “That’s what happened. And then they got a warrant on someone in the Trump campaign using opposition research paid for by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. That’s what this is about, and it’s wrong and it should never be done.”