Nunes blasted for nonsensical opening statement at impeachment hearing: 'Seems unlikely' GOP knew Sondland would affirm Trump's 'quid pro quo'

Nunes blasted for nonsensical opening statement at impeachment hearing: 'Seems unlikely' GOP knew Sondland would affirm Trump's 'quid pro quo'
Image via Screengrab.

Rep. Devin Nunes of California has been one of President Donald Trump’s loudest, most strident defenders during the public impeachment hearings — and with Ambassador Gordon Sondland preparing to testify Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes was as bombastic as usual. During his opening statement, Nunes ranted about Democrats linking Trump to Russian interference in the 2016 election, insisted that Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was perfectly innocent, declared that Sondland was “here today to be smeared” by Democrats, and even said that today’s Democrats would have impeached President George Washington if given the chance.

But Nunes’ critics have been pushing back on the congressman’s opening statements, noting that he plays hard and loose with the facts — and appeared unprepared for Sondland's remarks.

On Wednesday morning, CNBC’s Christina Wilkie tweeted, “Nunes’ opening statement suggests Intel Republicans didn’t know (Ambassador) Sondland was flipping until the last minute, and Nunes didn’t have time to update his opening statement — to which Alex Thomas responded, “Yeah, the reaction I’m getting from everybody on the Hill right now is ‘Nunes read the wrong opening statement.’”

Nunes has consistently pushed the debunked Crowdstrike theory, which claims that the real interference in the 2016 election came from Ukraine — not Russia. And on Wednesday, Nunes insisted that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, not Trump, were guilty of wrongdoing in 2016.

Ken Reid tweeted that Nunes, “listed all the proven, real, factual crimes and transgressions Trump and his associates committed and claimed they were all fake and debunked.”

@IndivisibleTeam wondered, “Did Nunes read Amb. Sondland's opening statement this morning? Seems unlikely.” And @broderick denounced Nunes’ statements as nothing more than bogus right-wing media talking points, tweeting, “Nothing Nunes does during the #ImpeachmentHearings makes sense because it’s raw footage Fox News segments and soundbites for right-wing Facebook pages.”

@EvaPutzova found Nunes’ Trump/President George Washington comparison to be “truly stupid.” And former U.S. Navy intel officer Peter Kauffman tweeted that Nunes sounded like he was oblivious to what Sondland is actually saying:

The New York Daily News' Brandon Friedman and others also found Nunes to be woefully out of touch with what Sondland is saying:

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