House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., says he will not be heeding the call of the panel's ranking Democrat to recuse himself from its probe of attempted Russian interference in the presidential election.
When asked by The Hill about the demand by Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Nunes' communications director Jack Langer replied, "Of course not. They're playing an absurd political game."
Nunes himself was asked about the demand by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly on Monday night.
"I'm sure the Democrats do want me to quit," Nunes told O'Reilly.
Other Democrats have called for Nunes to drop out of the bipartisan probe, but Schiff joined the call Monday night over revelations Nunes had been on White House grounds — likely the Eisenhower Executive Office Building — to view classified information Nunes said holds evidence that someone in the Obama White House asked for names of Trump's transition team to be unmasked in incidental communications obtained by the intelligence community.
Nunes told CNN on Monday that no one in the West Wing was behind his visit, and they likely did not know he was even there. He had to view the materials there, he said, because the executive branch had them at that location.
He did not sneak into White House ground in the dead of night as some reports have suggested, Nunes said, saying not only was it daylight when he showed up, but he spoke to numerous foreign dignitaries who were there.
Schiff's statement Monday said, "I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president's campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman."
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