House intelligence panel chairman blames media for taking political 'neophyte' Trump's tweets 'literally'

Rep. Devin Nunes half-defends President Trump

Republicans have not exactly rushed to defend President Trump over his tweeted accusation that he'd "just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory," but the Republican leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees agreed to at least look into Trump's claims. On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of Trump's presidential transition executive committee, reframed Trump's accusation as the president publicly questioning whether he or his campaign had been targeted. "I think it's a valid question," he said in a press conference, "if indeed it was a question."

But even Nunes wouldn't back up the specific allegations Trump made, suggesting instead that the press cut Trump a little slack. "As you all know, the president is a neophyte in politics," Nunes said. "He's been doing this for a little over a year. And I think a lot of the things that he says, you guys sometimes take literally. Sometimes he doesn't have 27 lawyers and staff looking at what he does, which is, I think, at times refreshing and at times can also lead us to have to be sitting at a press conference like this answering questions that you guys are asking. But at the end of the day, I think tweets are a very transparent way for a politician of any rank to communication with their constituents."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.