During an interview on Tuesday’s edition of Fox & Friends, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) justified the decision made by Republicans on the committee to end its probe into the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia with a Trump talking point that was debunked eight months ago.
“If you look at the one example of which was I think bad judgement which is where they met with a Russian lawyer, but it had to do with Russian adoptions,” Nunes said, after he was asked to explain how the House Intelligence Committee arrived at its conclusion that there was no collusion.
Nunes was referring to a June 2016 Trump Tower between Trump’s top campaign aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer who promised to give them dirt on Hillary Clinton. When the New York Times broke news of the meeting last summer, Donald Trump Jr. released a statement claiming they “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government.”
But within days, that statement — which we later learned was dictated by President Trump aboard Air Force One — was revealed to be a lie.
Trump Jr. eventually released the email correspondence that set up the meeting, and the word “adoption” does not appear a single time. Instead, the Russia-connected publicist who helped set up the meeting wrote to the president’s eldest son and said, “The crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father… This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Within 20 minutes of Goldstone sending his email, Trump Jr. wrote back and said, “Thanks Rob I appreciate that… if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
After invoking the debunked Trump talking point, Nunes dismissed critics who argue he shouldn’t have had anything to do with the intelligence committee’s investigation into the Trump campaign, since he worked hand-in-hand with the White House last year to politicize intelligence in an effort to validate Trump’s baseless accusation that Obama wiretapped him.
“It’s just personal attacks,” Nunes said. “They try to take any little thing.”