- Aaron Bernstein/Reuters
House Speaker Paul Ryan defended Rep. Devin Nunes on Tuesday amid calls from Democrats for him to recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into some of President Donald Trump’s associates’ connections to Russia.
Ryan responded “no” when asked at a press conference whether he thinks Nunes needs to recuse himself from the House investigation.
Ryan also said he doesn’t know where Nunes got his information about Trump and his associates possibly having their communications “incidentally collected” by the intelligence community during the transition period. Nunes was reportedly on White House grounds when he met with an unnamed source who gave him documents reportedly showing evidence of this.
Nunes has been facing mounting calls from his Democratic colleagues to step down.
House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat on Monday called on Nunes, who is chairman of the committee, to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement that he thinks “should recuse himself from any further involvement in the Russia investigation, as well as any involvement in oversight of matters pertaining to any incidental collection of the Trump transition, as he was also a key member of the transition team.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi echoed Schiff’s sentiments.
“The chair of the House Intelligence has a serious responsibility to the Congress and to the country,” she said. “Chairman Nunes’ discredited behavior has tarnished that office.”
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, laid into committee chair Devin Nunes on Tuesday, alleging that Nunes had breached protocol when he viewed classified documents on White House grounds.
The White House “is not an internet café. You can’t just walk in and receive classified information,” Swalwell said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”