‘Stop chasing Russian ghosts’: Nunes insists no collusion between Trump and Russians

‘Stop chasing Russian ghosts’: Nunes insists no collusion between Trump and Russians
House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes has urged Washington to stop pursuing false accusations of US President Donald Trump’s ties with Russia and concentrate on solving more pressing issues for the country.

Nunes participated in the Congressional investigation into alleged Russian meddling into the US presidential election, but was forced withdraw from the inquiry, following accusations of mishandling classified data. 

After looking into possible connections between Trump and Moscow, “I said, ‘OK, I don’t think there’s any collusion here,” Nunes, a California senator, said in a speech at the Orange County Republican Party’s annual Flag Day Salute dinner on Saturday.

“And what happened to me? All the major papers in the country did a total character assassination on me. Why? Because I was telling the truth, that there was never any collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians,” Nunes said, as cited by Politico.

“I have to ask myself, Was this really an investigation in search of a crime? And I will tell you, if that’s what it ends up being, there will be a huge, huge division in this country,” he added.

The senator blamed the Russian investigation for distracting the US authorities from pressing political issues.

Among other things, the House Intelligence Committee chair urged his fellow Republicans to more actively promote their health care overhaul, stressing that before doing so “we have to stop chasing Russian ghosts around the closet and actually get to real work.”

The guests at the dinner applauded Nunes when he was speaking about the false nature of claims of Trump’s ties with Moscow.

The House Intelligence Committee chair also said that the US mainstream media should take part of the blame for the shooting at the congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia last week.

The attack “didn’t surprise” him, Nunes said, because “every night there’s a news story that runs that… has something in common. It’s anti-Trump, anti-Republican, and promotes this nonsense that you’re seeing with protesters everywhere. And they continue to promote it, which continues to promote violence.”

During the week, there was confusion over Donald Trump’s tweet, in which the president wrote that he was “being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director.”

READ MORE: House intelligence chair Nunes to step down from Russia probe

Many took the message as a confirmation that Trump is under over firing James Comey, who headed the FBI inquiry into president’s alleged ties with Moscow.

However, Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, explained on Saturday that his client wasn’t under investigation and that the tweet referred to another matter.

Nunes came under fire and withdrew from the Russian investigation in April after he disclosed data to the public without briefing the Democrats on the intelligence committee.

REAd MORE: House intel panel issues subpoenas in probes of unmasking & alleged Russian 2016 interference

The move fueled speculation that he was acting on instructions of the president and led to an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics.