Nunes: Clinton Loss Reason For Russia Probe

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Republican Rep. Devin Nunes reportedly stated at a party function in April that Democrats were pushing the investigation into alleged Russian involvement into the 2016 election to excuse Hillary Clinton's loss at the polls.

Nunes' remarks were reported by the Los Angeles Times, but the California Republican denied he had said anything new at the fundraising event.

Nunes spoke the day after he stepped down from his role in the Russia investigation after coming under pressure over making a visit to the White House to discuss classified material. Top House Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, had urged him to step aside.

"The Democrats don't want an investigation on Russia. They want an independent commission. Why do they want an independent commission? Because they want to continue the narrative that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are best friends, and that's the reason that he won, because Hillary Clinton would have never lost on her own; it had to be someone else's fault," Nunes said, according to the Times.

Nunes issued a statement in response to the report, which was based on cell phone footage provided by two attendees at the event.

"For the LA Times to tout comments I made in front of 700 people, which attendees broadcasted on Facebook Live and which reflected themes I've discussed repeatedly this year, as some sort of unique revelation is the epitome of lazy reporting and fake news," he said.

In his remarks, Nunes focused his criticism on the Democrats.

"They have tried to destroy this Russia investigation, they've never been serious about it, and one of the great things now that I've stepped aside from this Russia investigation, I can actually say what I want to say. I know that there's probably media in here, you can write it but just try to get it right when you do," he added.

Despite recusing himself from the Russia investigation, Nunes is still receiving intelligence reports on Russia, CNN reported. The story broke after Nunes took a trip to the CIA to review intelligence.

Asked why he was still reviewing intelligence on Russia, Nunes replied: "I don't talk about intelligence."

Democrats did not seem to be overly troubled by Nunes' ongoing role. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, refused to comment on the matter to CNN.

"He recused himself, so he can set those limits," Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley said when asked about Nunes' continued access to intelligence on Russia.

A senior Republican aide noted that as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Nunes still had duties that had to be fulfilled, including reviewing intelligence.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, CNN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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