NUNES downplays PAPADOPOULOS' role in Trump campaign, claims he shouldn't have been investigated for drunkenly bragging about Russia having dirt on Clinton.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 5, 2018
"As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos never even knew who Trump wa-- never even met with the president." pic.twitter.com/NgMdzdXVPM
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Pelosi announces date for infrastructure vote; administration defends immigration policies LIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans MORE (R-Calif.) in a Monday morning interview said there is no evidence former Trump campaign adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE met with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE, despite a widely disseminated photo of the two sitting around the same table for a meeting.
“If Papadopoulos was such a major figure, you had nothing on him, you know, the guy lied,” Nunes told “Fox & Friends.” “As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos never even knew who — never even had met with the president.”
Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, is included in a photo that shows then-candidate Trump and then-Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE (R-Ala.) sitting at opposite heads of a table.
Nunes’s comment comes after the House Intelligence Committee last week released a controversial memo that accuses the Justice Department of abusing its surveillance powers. That memo names Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI, as the individual who “triggered” the FBI’s opening of a counterintelligence probe in July of 2016.
“Look, getting drunk in London and talking to diplomats, saying that you don’t like Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Powell death leads to bipartisan outpouring of grief MORE — I think it’s kind of scary that our intelligence agencies would take that and use it against [an] American citizen,” Nunes added during his interview with “Fox & Friends.”
The memo, drafted by Nunes's staff, has been the subject of partisan fighting within both the House Intelligence Committee and throughout Congress.