Rep. Devin Nunes, who is suing both MSNBC and The Washington Post over reports they'd made tying him to actions with Russia, said Friday on Newsmax that the legal actions are being taken to "hold the fake news accountable."
The California Republican told Newsmax's "National Report" that he scored a rare win this week, when a Washington, D.C., judge ruled that his libel lawsuit against The Washington Post could proceed.
In a Nov. 9, 2020 story from the Post about Nunes' one-time chief of staff Michael Ellis, the paper alleged that Ellis, who became general counsel of the National Security Agency, had helped the congressman obtain information from the White House on intelligence files to back his claims that the Obama administration had spied on Trump Tower, reports Reason.com.
"That was never true that I had, you know, James Bond-style jumped, rolled out of cars, jumped over the fence at the White House at midnight," said Nunes. "They knew from prior reporting that that was totally false ... they acted with actual malice. They've been doing it for years. Thankfully a judge saw."
Nunes this month also sued NBCUniversal for defamation, alleging that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and the network "harbor an institutional hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will" toward him.
The suit specifically disputes comments Maddow made on her show on March 18, when she suggested that Nunes refused to turn over a package he had reportedly received from a suspected Russian agent to the FBI.
"That one's just completely bizarre," said Nunes. "Uh, this, uh, about three months ago or so, four months ago, she got up on the wrong side of the bed and just decided to accuse me of treason, obstruction of justice ... out of nowhere, she accuses me of you know, doing dirty things with Ukrainians and Russians.
"Just more of the same crap, you know, just more of the same nonsense that Republicans are somehow tied to [Vladimir] Putin, and it's completely outlandish."
Nunes said he'd like his lawsuits to result in more truth coming from the mainstream media.
"Just because you make up a fake narrative about Russia and Republicans, you don't just get to carry that out forever, when none of it was ever true," said Nunes. "The overall goal here is to stop the fake news from destroying people's lives."
Nunes also slammed California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who he said has become "completely unhinged" over the recall effort against him.
"First, I'd say he's completely unhinged," said Nunes. "He was before a fake news outlet the other day and went totally nuts, was swearing. Every other word was a swear word. He was attacking me for, you know, being behind the recall; so clearly, this is someone who is not thinking clearly.
"We have a state that's running out of power. We have high gas prices. People are leaving the state in droves."
He also spoke out against Newsom's order for a school mask mandate.
"The focus shouldn't beyond that on vaccines and masks," said Nunes. "It ought to [go] beyond getting people treated immediately for this virus, so don't wait around. Get to your doctor. There are really good treatments that can help you get better quickly, and that's what we're seeing recently."
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Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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