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Major Garrett: Nunes opening statement 'a hatchet attack on the American media'
CBS chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett characterized scathing remarks by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) calling the press "puppets of the Democratic party" as "a hatchet attack on the American media" during coverage of the impeachment proceedings against President Trump on Tuesday.
"If you watched the impeachment hearings last week, you may have noticed a disconnect between what you actually saw and the mainstream media accounts describing it. What you saw were three diplomats, who dislike the president's Ukraine policy, discussing secondhand and thirdhand conversations about their objections," Nunes said in his opening statement.
"They were unable to identify any crime or impeachable offense the president committed. But what you read in the press were accounts of shocking, damning and explosive testimony that fully supports the Democrats' accusations," the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee continued.
"There was no objectivity or fairness in the media's Russia stories, just a fevered rush to tarnish and remove a president who refuses to pretend that the media are something different from what they really are, puppets of the Democratic Party," he added.
Garrett responded on the air after CBS played Nunes's remarks.
"The country saw ... in the opening statement of the ranking Republican, Devin Nunes, a hatchet attack on the American media, saying the American media is partly responsible, a tool of the Democratic Party, just an echo chamber of a false narrative," Garrett said.
"We had plenty of time to ask these questions, relevant questions about their direct knowledge of the phone call, what they had heard before it, its consistency or inconsistency with U.S. policy. None of that was there at all," he continued. "If you're trying to say the president did nothing wrong, why not take this testimony and try to pick it apart or at least do something to suggest it may have been incomplete? Republicans did none of that."
Garrett joined CBS News in 2010 after stints with CNN and Fox News.