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Nunes says media, social giants shielding Pelosi from hard questions on Capitol riots

"Nobody knows the truth. Why? Because the press, that the Democrats own, are not asking the questions that a real press would do," California Republican says.

Updated: February 2, 2021 - 11:57am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is launching a blistering attack on the news and social media giants, arguing they are shielding Speaker Nancy Pelosi from having to answer hard questions about failed preparedness for the Capitol riot.

"Ultimately, she's responsible, OK, whether or not her staff or her sergeant of arms, you know, she's the mayor of the capitol. It's a big responsibility," Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told Just the News.

Nunes cited reports that the Capitol police sought protective fencing and National Guard support well in advance of the attack but were turned down by a panel that included the House sergeant at arms, the Senate sergeant at arms and the Capitol architect.

"If you go back in time, somebody would say [Pelosi] ought to be coming out and be pushed on these questions: Who in your office knew? And when did they know it? Did you know it?

"And she ought to be out there saying, 'Look, here's what happened. We, you know, made a mistake. You know, we collectively as in the Capitol Hill,'" Nunes said in an interview Monday with the John Solomon Reports podcast. "Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy didn't tell Pelosi or the sergeant of arms, 'Hey, no fences, no National Guard.'"

The California Republican revealed he was approached the morning of Jan. 6, hours before the riot, by Capitol police worried about intelligence of a possible attack but was unable to help them because congressional leadership had not provided members with much detail about security concerns.

"The Capitol Police were worried about this," said Nunes. "I mean, so much so that they would come to me as the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, the top Republican, and say, 'Hey, you know, what's going on here?' And I said, 'Gosh, it doesn't sound good.' And you know what? I hadn't at that point, I had no idea that they had asked for fencing, they had asked for additional guards."

Nunes, who played a crucial role in unraveling the false Russia collusion narrative, said his constituents are frustrated that basic questions about the attack still aren't answered, like how many entered the Capitol the day of the attack. He blamed the news media and social media for failing to press for answers.

"Somebody should be able to get me an estimate" he said. "There's plenty of cameras. How many people went into the Capitol, right? OK. We still don't have that number ... Secondly, you'd want to know, who were the people that actually broke the windows and did the damage? Those people need to be prosecuted immediately, right.

"Nobody knows the truth. Why? Because the press, that the Democrats own, are not asking the questions that a real press would do. And then of course, if you say anything about it, John, if you report the facts, good luck, because ... Facebook's gonna take the post down. Twitter, Instagram, you name it, they're going to take it all down."

Nunes said he is worried that one-sided media and social media messaging is keeping Americans from important truths, citing the example that there has been so little reporting on how President Biden's early climate change decisions, like shutting down the TransCanada pipeline, will aid Russia in the global battle for energy supremacy.

"Americans don't even know that Biden's first move was to support Putin and kill tens of thousands of jobs in the Midwest," he said. "They don't know what happened."

Biden has said he took the actions to protect the climate and is confident Americans will have a solid energy supply.

Nunes said the single most important tactic conservatives need to counter one-sided messaging is a social media platform that is free of censorship.

"We have to get back up with a social media platform that's not biased," he said. "So that's first and foremost, you know, you can't win a battle for ideas, just like you can't win an actual warfare, without a way to communicate with your constituency. So right now you have a lot of people are just up there on Facebook and Googling things. And you know, they're just getting fed constant garbage."

Nunes also discussed the sentencing of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who received no prison time after pleading guilty to doctoring a document supporting a FISA warrant targeting the Trump campaign. He said the light sentence angers his constituents, who believe Washington elites receive slaps on the wrist while average American citizens get "the book thrown at them."

He added that recently declassified documents in the Russia probe, made public by Just the News, were wrongly withheld from Congress during earlier investigations but there has been no accountability.

"You can go down the list of actual documents, the evidence that was withheld from Congress — if anything, all of these guys ought to be strung up, not just for lying to the court, but lying and obstructing a congressional investigation," he said.

"Because all of those documents that have now come out here in the last, you know, the last few months, pretty clear that, you know, those were important documents that were under subpoena by me as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, those documents should have been in our possession no later than the end of 2017, which when we put out in 2018, we already knew there was fraud on the court in 2017 without this information."

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