House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., accused Democrats of using probes into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election to justify Hillary Clinton's defeat.
His remarks came at a Tulare County Lincoln Dinner on April 7, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A video of his appearance was obtained by the Times and published on Tuesday.
"The Democrats don't want an investigation on Russia," Nunes said. "They want an independent commission. Why do they want an independent commission? Because they want to continue the narrative that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are best friends, and that's the reason that he won, because Hillary Clinton would have never lost on her own; it had to be someone else's fault," Nunes said.
"They have tried to destroy this Russia investigation, they've never been serious about it, and one of the great things now that I've stepped aside from this Russia investigation, I can actually say what I want to say. I know that there's probably media in here, you can write it but just try to get it right when you do."
Nunes had stepped aside from his committee's probe in April, The Washington Post reported. It noted he had come under fire for speaking about classified foreign surveillance reports he looked at on White House grounds.
Nunes, in a statement released by his office said: "For the LA Times to tout comments I made in front of 700 people, which attendees broadcasted on Facebook Live and which reflected themes I've discussed repeatedly this year, as some sort of unique revelation is the epitome of lazy reporting and fake news."
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