A.B. Stoddard: Devin Nunes Has No Credibility Outside Trump World, Paul Ryan Is Complicit

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MSNBC's Nicole Wallace asked RCP columnist A.B. Stoddard why the FBI director and House Speaker are going along with the findings of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy when it comes to their conclusions about the politicization of intelligence and the "deep state."

"All of the people Donald Trump has attacked on Twitter are, under [FBI director] Chris Wray being reorganized, if you will, to the chagrin of many career lifelong FBI folks. Why is Paul Ryan going along with the corruption of the House Intel committee?" Wallace asked on Monday's edition of 'Deadline White House' on MSNBC.

"They're trying to remain silent," Stoddard said about Congressional Republicans led by Paul Ryan. "It's not that he's sticking up for Devin Nunes in public. He's trying to make this go away."





Stoddard also said about Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Oversight Committee chairman: "One minute he's defending the credibility of Bob Mueller and everything he's doing, the next minute he's going a little bit 'deep state.' He does a straddle."

She added about Gowdy's affinity for conspiracy theories: "If you watch what he's doing. They're trying to keep one foot in the land of the Trump voter, and the other foot in some kind of integrity of yore."

"I have no idea where this is going to end," A.B. Stoddard said. "When you talk to senators privately, if you ask them, is the president compromised and guilty of potential financial crimes and Bob Mueller is going to have him dead to rights with the paperwork, what are you going to do?

"They say: We'll find out when you do."

Transcript:

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC: Let me put you on the spot. If this is obvious to everyone here.

Why doesn't Paul Ryan, when given the choice between taking Devin Nunes's side (who has proven himself to be game for Trumpian Shenanigans, when it comes to the fake unmasking scandal) or Christopher Wray (someone with decades of integrity) -- when Christopher Wray and Rod Rosenstein walk into Paul Ryan's office, and say do something about Devin Nunes and the release of this memo that distorts the FBI, what happened to -- who stole Paul Ryan's spine?

A.B. STODDARD, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: That's a really amazing question because [Ryan] found some [spine] today on tariffs.

WALLACE: He cares about trade, doesn't care about Russia.

A.B. STODDARD: [House Intelligence Committee Chair, Rep.] Devin Nunes has no credibility, and that is not a partisan statement. I'm being objective here.

A month ago, Senator Burr, who is running a Senate Intelligence investigation into Russian collusion with Mark Warner went into Paul Ryan's office also to complain that Devin Nunes had leaked Mark Warner's texts to FOX. Mark Warner is so clean on this issue of this request for a meeting with Christopher Steele and the texts Marco Rubio defended him on Twitter and Burr, his fellow Republican and his chairman went in to plead with the Speaker to control Devin Nunes.

Nunes and Ryan are old friends. Nunes has endeared himself to the leadership by being a very energetic and eager puppy all along. And he has a lot of loyalty and a lot of fondness within the ranks of the leadership. But it's very, very tough for Paul Ryan to explain himself in both those examples.

WALLACE: Why does he tolerate the corruption of Devin Nunes, though? You just asserted something that is obvious. There is a corruption to the way Devin Nunes has gone about conducting his investigation over the "grave concerns" of the FBI. The FBI, which under Christopher Wray has done just about everything the president has wanted him to do, not always on his timeline, but Andy McCabe is on his way out. The general counsel is on his way out.

All of the people Donald Trump has attacked on Twitter are, under Chris Wray being reorganized, if you will, to the chagrin of many career lifelong FBI folks as I understand it. Why is Paul Ryan going along with the corruption of the House Intel committee?

STODDARD: Well, like many issues involving Trump and this whole situation on Capitol Hill, they're trying to remain silent. It's not that he's sticking up for Devin Nunes in public. He's trying to make this go away. That's usually what, if you see Trey Gowdy, the Oversight Committee chairman, one minute he's defending the credibility of Bob Mueller and everything he's doing, the next minute he's going a little bit "deep state." He does a straddle if you watch what he's doing. They're trying to keep one foot in the land of the Trump voter, and the other foot in some kind of integrity of yore.

I have no idea where this is going to end. When you talk to senators privately, if you ask them, is the president compromised and guilty of potentially financial crimes and Bob Mueller is going to have him dead to rights with the paperwork, what are you going to do?

They say: We'll find out when you do.

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