Huh? Devin Nunes says of "people working at the White House now," none are under intel investigation or surveillance "but one." pic.twitter.com/9lxN79cbgl
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) March 19, 2017
House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes had fine little WTF moment in his interview with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace, where he seemed to say a person currently working in the Trump White House is currently under some kind of investigation or surveillance. Or maybe he’s just really, really inarticulate, which we don’t have any problems believing, either. Here’s what Nunes said in reply to a question about whether “people in Trump world” were being surveilled by intelligence agencies:
Well, if you look at the folks that are working in the White House today that are involved in the — in the Trump — in the Trump administration, I don’t think there’s any but one there that’s under any type of — of — of investigation or surveillance activities at all.
Which sure sounds like he means there’s “not anyone but one person” in the White House who’s under investigation. Or that in his bobbling around to answer the question, he couldn’t decide whether he wanted to say “anybody” or “anyone,” or Crom knows what, which is the spin Nunes’s office put on it, according to a spokesperson:
It’s a bit garbled in the video but he didn’t mean to say there is one person under surveillance, he’s saying there is no one under surveillance, which is why he says ‘at all’ at the end of the sentence[.]
Maybe. Nunes is a mushmoushed numpty, so that’s definitely plausible. But it’s also exactly the denial his office would issue if he’d accidentally said there’s actually one member of the administration who’s being investigated. Unfortunately, Wallace didn’t pick up on the slip and ask a follow-up question, so the chance to grill Nunes in mid-garble is long past, and the official denial is now what he’ll fall back on.
But what if there is someone under investigation and Nunes let it slip, denials be damned? Heaven knows some rightwingers are accusing Nunes of “leaking” very sensitive information. Assuming Nunes doesn’t mean Mike Flynn, who’s already long gone from the White House, then who the heck might it be? It would be irresponsible not to speculate!
Who is The One? Some candidates:
Steve Bannon: A long shot, to be sure. He cozies up to neo-Nazis and racists, and his hard-on is for Clash of Civilizations anti-immigrant and anti-Islam stuff, not Russia. Then again, a rightwing strongman is a rightwing strongman, so Bannon probably loves him some Putin. Outside odds: Bannon’s actually under investigation because of the weird acid-filled hot tub at his rental house.
Wilbur Ross: OK, that’s more like it. He was the go-between for a deal where Russia’s Fertilizer King bought a house in Florida from Trump for a handy $50 million markup, and he was until recently the co-chair of a bank in Cyprus that launders dirty Russian money. Then again, who cares about commerce secretaries?
Michael Cohen: Trump’s personal lawyer either hand-delivered a sketchy peace plan for Ukraine to Mike Flynn’s office like he said, or never gave it any thought, like he also said. He had a bunch of business partners who were mobbed up as anything (allegedly!), and of course he’s a named character in the Steele Dossier, even though a photo of his passport cover proves he never went to Europe to meet any Russian agents. But is he actually “working in the White House”? That’s a stumper.
Rex Tillerson: The guy was personally awarded the “Order of Friendship” by
Princess Sunbutt Vladimir Putin after signing a half-trillion-dollar oil deal (which sanctions got in the way of), and he’s happily going along with the hollowing out of the State Department, which is awfully convenient for the Russian government. May not actually remain awake long enough to gather anything useful on.
Kellyanne Conway: No known Russian ties, but already suspects her household appliances are spying on her, so why not Make It So? Besides, we hear her Roomba has been gathering all sorts of dirt on her.
So those are the only people in the White House we can think of who might be worth a surveillance program. Oh, sure, there’s also the guy at the top, but Donald Trump would make a lousy surveillance target. He blabs whatever’s on his mind, at any hour of the day, and nothing he says is reliable, so we can’t think of a single reason to investigate that guy.
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