Rep. Devin Nunes sounded off at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday on how former President Barack Obama allowed to Russia to gain prominence during his administration.
“We went through a whole European infrastructure consolidation process of military installations across Europe, abandoned a lot of abilities in the North Atlantic to track Russian subs,” Nunes said.
“We actually had the president of the United States, who said on a hot mic to the prime minister of Russia at the time, ‘Just tell Vladimir to wait after the election.’ That was President Obama who said that.”
Nunes gets CPAC award for pushback on Russia probe https://t.co/BgyQ8ra0kP
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“So who created this Russian threat? Who? It was the last administration that put us in this position,” Nunes said.
The much-awaited Democratic memo on the Steele dossier was also released Saturday.
The conference, which unfolded over 3 ½ days at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center just outside Washington, overlapped with breaking news about the long-running Russia investigation. On Friday, Trump campaign official Rick Gates pleaded guilty to two charges related money laundering, and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III filed fresh charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
But at CPAC, the news was received in two ways — as a distraction or as a hoax. According to the conference’s annual straw poll, 60 percent of attendees said the Mueller investigation was unfair. In a Saturday-afternoon speech, Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch said the probe and the media’s focus on it was designed to distract from scandals around defeated 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Stolen and destroyed records. Violations of national security laws. You name it — Judicial Watch has compiled enough evidence to compel the lawful arrest of Hillary Clinton,” Fitton said. “It’s no wonder that the D.C. establishment would rather talk about their made-up garbage about Donald Trump and Russia.”
A Saturday panel about the investigation, bringing together skeptical conservative reporters, was less dismissive. While they criticized some national news media as hyping each turn in the Russia story, they acknowledged that the investigations raise some questions about Trump’s campaign.