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Dems, media criticized

Top Republican on Intelligence Committee defends President Donald Trump during local visit

YOUNGSTOWN — U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House committee conducting an impeachment inquiry into the president, strongly defended Donald Trump saying there’s no evidence he did anything wrong.

“Just when you thought the Russia hoax was done and (Democrats had) finally given up on this impeachment crusade, they’ve invented a new narrative,” Nunes, the top GOP member on the Intelligence Committee, said during a Mahoning County Republican Party dinner Friday at the Maronite Center.

He added: “To be president and be what he’s been through for the last three years, it’s really astonishing that he’s still able to get up every day and willing to fight these guys and send tweets out that he’s willing to do it. It’s amazing.”

Nunes, R-Tulare, Calif., sharply criticized Democrats, the media and federal law enforcement for creating a bogus investigation against Trump.

“It’s going to take decades for millions of Americans to trust the Department of Justice, the FBI and the State Department,” he said, adding that the first two are “dirty.” A few minutes earlier, he said Democrats “lie about how the Republicans attacked the FBI and the DOJ. That’s why I say, ‘Whatever they accuse you of doing, they’re actually doing themselves.'”

He also said, “I will give the left credit. Well, I’ll put it to you this way: you guys all know that there’s one thing that doesn’t die, one animal that doesn’t die, in a nuclear fallout, right? Cockroaches.”

He added that Democrats “don’t quit. They develop an area and they go and they go and they go and that’s why I always tell … you know, people always get frustrated, but you have to be calm. You have to just wait. Eventually, they’ll just walk themselves out on a high wire and fall off. What’s scary about this operation is that they’re pouring jet fuel on … millions of Americans that have been poisoned by this Russian nonsense.”

The committee’s inquiry focuses on claims that Trump applied pressure to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for an investigation into the son of Joe Biden, one of the Democratic presidential frontrunners.

About 560 people were at Friday’s event, said Thomas McCabe, county party chairman. The event raised about $14,000 for the party, McCabe said.

Asked about the impeachment inquiry’s impact on Trump’s re-election, Nunes said, “I think it helps him win,” which received loud applause from the audience.

Regarding the media, Nunes said, “There is no media anymore, very little, where you can get the truth. Then you take on top of it social media and then the social media companies start to regulate what we can all see.”

When asked about Nunes, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said the Republican congressman “spent much of the week spewing Russia propaganda and crackpot theories such as that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.”

During his appearance Nunes also brought up the “homeless problem” in California, calling it “a disaster.”

He said in his congressional district “you’ve got thousands and thousands of people that are there and nothing’s being done about them. As a matter of fact, we’re giving more rights to the homeless people. We’re taking the ability away of our law enforcement officials to go up and discuss issues with these people — so they can basically be trespassing on property, urinating in the street.”

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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