Former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Newsmax on Thursday that one of the biggest takeaways for him after the release of the Durham Report on the FBI's investigation of alleged Russian ties to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign is how much President Barack Obama was in on the scheme.
"This goes back to Obama," Nunes, CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, told "Rob Schmitt Tonight." "At the end of the day, he was in charge. He knew. He authorized the ICA [intelligence community assessment]. And all of these scumbags below all went along with it."
As chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes was investigating the allegations of Russian election interference. The ICA to which he referred was on "Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections." It was begun at Obama's request in December 2016 and completed on Jan. 6, 2017, before Trump took office.
"I hate to break the news to you," Nunes said. "They all knew. [Then-CIA Director John] Brennan and all of them knew it was a hoax. There was no reason ever to do an intelligence community assessment."
The report by special counsel John Durham showed Brennan briefed Obama and other senior national security officials in the summer of 2016 on a plan allegedly approved by Hillary Clinton from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.
In front of Nunes' House Intelligence Committee in 2017, Brennan testified Russia "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process," despite U.S. warnings not to do so. If Brennan knew at the time that what he was telling Congress was false, he could be indicted for perjury. But Durham did not recommend charges for anyone involved in the scandal.
Mark Meadows, a former chief of staff to Trump who appeared on "Rob Schmitt Tonight" with Nunes, said Brennan's actions leave a stain on the intelligence community.
"He's avoiding scrutiny, but the other thing is he's actually putting a black mark on the intel community," Meadows said. "It's going to come back with the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] reauthorization. It's going to be very problematic to get that done. They're not going to give John Brennan and people like him that power again."
Section 702 of FISA, which allows for the warrantless surveillance of foreigners outside of the United States, even as they communicate with U.S. citizens on domestic soil, is set to expire in December.
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