Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA), head of the House Intelligence Committee in charge of investigating the alleged Russian ties with the Trump administration, seems to “have no idea” who some of the major players in the scandal even are.
Following today’s Congressional hearing, in which FBI Director James Comey revealed that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Kremlin, Nunes admitted that he had never heard of some people whose names have been the subject of intense media scrutiny since the Trump-Russian scandal first broke.
“I mean they were, they brought up many characters today, I don’t even know who these people are… the Democrats brought up all these cast of names, and I don’t even know who they are,” Nunes said.
— Dustin (@DustinGiebel) March 20, 2017
“Are you talking about Roger Stone here? Paul Manafort?” asked one journalist.
“I mean, Manafort I know,” Nunes replied. “Because I know for a short time he worked on the convention, but I don’t know the other people.”
Roger Stone is a longtime Trump associate and adviser who has openly admitted that he has had contact with WikiLeaks and hacker Guccifer 2.0, Russian operatives who hacked and released emails from the Clinton campaign chairman and the Democratic party during the 2016 election.
Stone famously announced the dump of emails almost a week before they were released, signaling a clear connection with the Russian effort:
Mother Jones reporter David Corn also tweeted that Nunes admitted he doesn’t know who Carter Page is.
Carter Page was a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign who met with Russians during the campaign.
Given their prominence in the very scandal that he’s supposed to be investigating, the only possible explanations for this baffling response is that Nunes is lying, incompetent, or just trying to orchestrate a cover-up.
It’s hard to say which option is worse.