The head of the House Intelligence Committee in charge of investigating the possible Russian connection with the 2016 Trump administration seems to “have no idea” who some of the major players even are.
Following today’s Congressional hearing, in which FBI Director James Comey revealed that the FBI has been investigating the Trump campaign since July about possible Russian collusion, Rep Devin Nunes admitted that he had never heard of some people whose names have been the subject of intense media speculation since the Trump-Russian scandal first broke.
“I mean they were, they brought up many characters today, I don’t even know who these people are… the Democrats brought up all these cast of names, and I don’t even know who they are,” Nunes said.
— Dustin (@DustinGiebel) March 20, 2017
“Are you talking about Roger Stone here? Paul Manafort?” asked one journalist.
“I mean, Manafort I know,” Nunes replied. “Because I know for a short time he worked on the convention, but I don’t know the other people.”
Roger Stone is a longtime Trump associate and adviser who has openly admitted that he has had contact with WikiLeaks and hacker Guccifer 2.0, Russian operatives who hacked and released emails from the Clinton campaign chairman and the Democratic party during the 2016 election.
Mother Jones reporter David Corn also got Nunes to admit that he doesn’t know who Carter Page is. Carter Page was a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign who met with Russians during the campaign.
Nunes just told me he's never heard of Carter Page or Roger Stone. And he's in charge of the investigation?
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) March 20, 2017
Given their prominence in the very scandal that he’s supposed to be investigating, the only possible explanations for this baffling response is that Nunes is lying, incompetent, or uninterested in properly pursuing answers to these growing questions.
It’s hard to say which option is worse.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW