On Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes shot down the New Yorker’s “bombshell” expose on Trump-Russia dossier author Christopher Steele. Nunes called it “more evidence about how dirty this dossier is,” and “a rehabilitation project” put out by a “left-wing magazine.”
The author of the New Yorker article, Jane Mayer, is a longtime left-wing political operative. In 1994, she coauthored a project to “rehabilitate” Anita Hill, after the former EEOC staffer almost succeeded in derailing Clarence Thomas’ appointment to the Supreme Court with spurious accusations of sexual harassment. In 2016, Mayer wrote another bomb
shell condemning the Koch Brothers: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.
In her New Yorker piece, Mayer wrote that President Barack Obama was sent an “intelligence bombshell” by CIA brass alleging that the Russians were cyber-campaigning against a presidential candidate, and that it included an illicit stream between the Trump team and Moscow.
On Fox News with Martha MacCallum, Nunes said that the New Yorker is a reliably left-wing magazine that has gotten a lot of things wrong without ever issuing corrections. But the congressman also pointed out that if parts of the story are true, then they corroborate what Republicans have been saying for years.
“Stating the obvious — that the Russians were trying to interfere with our elections — that was myself and Republicans who warned of that way before the election,” he told MacCallum.
“We knew what the Russians were up to,” Nunes continued. “This is nothing new and that’s why people are going a little bit overboard with this, but they’re taking things totally out of context. The Russians had an operation against us, but they’ve always had an operation against the United States of America, going back for many, many years and many elections.”
Nunes added: “I just think this [New Yorker article] is just more evidence of how dirty the dossier is.” He characterized the piece as “a rehabilitation project to rehabilitate Christopher Steele,” pointing out that Steele had been working with the Russians to get the dirt on Trump.
“This is what continues to perplex me,” Nunes said. “We know exactly who was getting information from the Russians. It was the Hillary Clinton campaign. They were getting information from the Russians — dirt on Trump to use in a campaign.”
He pointed out that Trump is being investigated for doing the very same thing — finding dirt on Clinton from the Russians to use in his campaign. However, “we have no evidence of that,” Nunes declared.
“The dossier, on the face of it, is ridiculous,” he exclaimed, pointing out the document had alleged that Carter Page was going to receive billions of dollars for his collusion efforts. “If the FBI really believed that, we’ve got a bigger problem then just basic credibility,” Nunes said.
Earlier in the interview, Nunes gave a progress report on his committee’s effort to get answers from 11 current and former high-ranking government officials pertaining to the unverified Steele dossier.
“Thankfully … most of the people have responded, giving the information back to us promptly and on time,” Nunes said. “There are a few people who have asked for an additional week which we went ahead and granted … there are a few people though that are not responding. They seem to have went dark, however if they do not respond shortly, they will be getting subpoenaed to appear before Congress to be treated with a deposition.”
A deadline of March 2 was initially given to the recipients of the letters.
Former DNI chief James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan have both responded, Nunes said.