Devin Nunes: Shocking Number of Americans Have 'Drank the Russia Kool-Aid,' Truly Believe GOP Is Controlled by Kremlin

Never underestimate the power of self-delusion

FBN's Maria Bartiromo interviews Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, about military posturing against China, trade deals, and the approaching climax of the Mueller Russian investigation. 

"There is a large number of Americans, Maria -- and I know it's probably not the people watching your show right now, but you would be shocked at the number of Americans who have drank the Russia Kool-Aid, and they actually believe that Donald Trump is under control of Vladimir Putin," Nunes said. "You're really dealing with many Americans who are living in an alternative universe."

NUNES: You are -- you are slowly starting to see this collapse in on them, even though the mainstream media is not covering this, because they seem so focused on drinking the Russian Kool-Aid on terms of what is -- who is getting indicted by the special counsel, and instead focus on, look, was there any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which the answer is no.

So, we have known this for a long time. Our committee really led this investigation. If you look at a lot of the facts that are now out, it's the facts that we found on the House Intelligence Committee.

So, we believe that the depositions that we took, I think nearly about 70 people, those need to be published. And they need to be published, I think, before the election. Published, I mean being put out for the American people to review, so that they can see the work that we did and they can see all of the people that were interviewed by us and their answers to those questions. 

I think full transparency is in order here. So I expect to make those available from our committee to the American public here in the next few weeks. 

Full transcript: 
 

MARIA BARTIROMO: Let's bring in House Intelligence Committee Chairman California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes from the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California.

And it is good to see you, Mr. Chairman. Thanks very much for joining us. 

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R), CALIFORNIA: Great to be back with you, Maria. Thank you. 

BARTIROMO: A lot to talk about with you.

Let me kick it off with China, because I know that your committee has been investigating China from a national security angle. Your response or take on what the president is trying to do here?

NUNES: Well, I think, ultimately, we're going to win this trade war. I'm glad that NAFTA seems like it's on better footing now. We have made an agreement with Mexico. I believe the Canadians will come forward.

And it'll be good to get that solved. The fact that finally we have a president who is taking on China, this has long been needed. We have been running an investigation into -- from the House Intelligence Committee into Chinese activities around the globe.

We have talked about them on your show before. But what people need to really focus in on are a couple of items. One is that the Chinese are stealing us blind. So they are beginning to steal our intellectual property and they're moving it to China. 

In fact, I think it's very possible within just a few years, you will see the Silicon Valley and the Austin, Texas, and those places where it's kind of a hotbed of think tanks and people who really develop new technology, you could easily see that code be transferred over to China and you could see China become the new Silicon Valley.

So that's first and foremost. Secondly, you have economic subversion that they're doing to countries all over the globe, including what I think many people understand, many Western European countries, where they own major financial institutions, power grids, electric companies, ports.

They have loaned a lot of money to countries all over the globe. And just this past week, you saw that you have countries in Central America who have long supported Taiwan, the island of Taiwan. They actually pulled their support and switched from supporting Taiwan to China. 

We actually went and pulled out our ambassadors, I believe, in Panama and Honduras. So this is something that continues to move forward. The president has these tariffs that he's talking about putting on the table and implementing.

And I think, look, if the Chinese don't come to the table and, number one, stop stealing our intellectual property, number two, stop dumping products on the market, I don't think we have a choice, because if we really wait too long, our military is not going to be able to go up against the Chinese in parts of the globe. 

BARTIROMO: Wow.

I want to just take a look at how the Chinese are using their economic strength and putting it toward their military strength. We have got a map here of China's militarized islands. And I know this is something that your committee has been looking at, the fact that China is going into the sea and building islands, and saying that this is Chinese territory, and then building military sites there.

Tell us what they're doing in particular in the South China Sea. 

NUNES: Well, and all of that started under the Obama administration.

So the irony in all this -- and it's always good to go back and look at recent history, so that we get the facts on the table.

So, you have the Obama administration, who said, we're going to reset relationships with Russia. We're going to actually withdraw troops from Europe, because the Russia threat is no more, and we're going to pivot to Asia. 

Now, what happened? They completely botched Russia completely and now tried to blame it on the Trump administration. And at the same time, they have militarized -- I can't see your map, but I'm familiar with the map -- they have militarized, building these islands which are essentially stationary aircraft carriers, where they have complete, military control, command-and-control, of the entire South China Sea.

So it makes it very hard for the United States to keep those major trade waters open in the event of any type of conflict, because on any given day, you have two-thirds of the world's commerce transiting through that region. 

BARTIROMO: Yes. We want to keep up with you on this. I'm going to keep checking back with you in terms of how your investigation is going.

This is real important. And we wanted to make sure to point it out, because we talk a lot about trade as it results -- as it relates to China, but not as much about national security. And that's what you are focused on. 

Let me move on, Mr. Chairman, and that is -- and get your update on where you are in your investigation into the FBI, the DOJ, and its handling of the two investigations, Trump-Russia and the Hillary Clinton investigation. 

There's been a call from your colleagues for the president to declassify documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation. You have been asking the president to do just that. 

You also have depositions of important interviews that you have done. Will you declassify all those interviews? 

NUNES: Yes, Maria, so the American people now are beginning to see the walls are beginning to close in on the corrupt officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI. 

Many of them have been fired. Many of them are on leave. Many of them have been demoted. But you are -- you are slowly starting to see this collapse in on them, even though the mainstream media is not covering this, because they seem so focused on drinking the Russian Kool-Aid on terms of what is -- who is getting indicted by the special counsel, and instead focus on, look, was there any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which the answer is no.

So, we have known this for a long time. Our committee really led this investigation. If you look at a lot of the facts that are now out, it's the facts that we found on the House Intelligence Committee.

So, we believe that the depositions that we took, I think nearly about 70 people, those need to be published. And they need to be published, I think, before the election. Published, I mean being put out for the American people to review, so that they can see the work that we did and they can see all of the people that were interviewed by us and their answers to those questions. 

I think full transparency is in order here. So I expect to make those available from our committee to the American public here in the next few weeks. 

BARTIROMO: So, let me just go back here. This is breaking news right now. You are going to declassify your depositions of some 70 individuals related to the Trump-Russia collusion narrative? 

NUNES: Yes. So some of them are not even classified. Some of them are just held at the committee.

So, matter of fact, I think 70 or 80 percent of them are not classified. The ones that are classified, we will have to send to the department of the -- or the director of national intelligence to declassify, but we hope that that would only take a matter of days, and they don't do their normal foot-dragging, where they slow-roll and we don't get these before the election.

But just for the sake of full transparency, because there's so much that's out there that's misinformation or disinformation on the -- on this Russia-gate fiasco, that we need this information out before the election.

And that's why we have been asking the president of the United States to declassify many more documents as it relates to not only Bruce Ohr, but also with the Carter Page FISA. 

BARTIROMO: Will the president declassify those documents before the midterm elections? 

NUNES: Well, look, I think he doesn't have any choice. 

If -- the president talks a lot about how this Russia investigation has hampered his administration. And I totally agree with the president on that. And if the president wants the American people to really understand just how broad and invasive this investigation has been to many Americans, and how unfair it has been, he has no choice but to declassify.

And I will tell you, if -- as we continue to move forward here, it's in the best interests of our intelligence agencies to have full transparency on this, because you're -- you're really dealing with many Americans who are living in an alternative universe, who have drank this Russia Kool-Aid. 

There is a large -- there is a large number of Americans, Maria -- and I know it's probably not the people watching your show right now, but you would be shocked at the number of Americans who have drank the Russia Kool-Aid, and they actually believe that Donald Trump is under control of Vladimir Putin. 

BARTIROMO: Right. 

NUNES: They actually believe that House Republicans are somehow under the control of Vladimir Putin. 

BARTIROMO: Yes. 

NUNES: I mean, there's a -- I bet 10, 15, 20 percent of Americans believe this. 

BARTIROMO: It's incredible.

NUNES: And it's absolutely nuts. 

BARTIROMO: And not only that, but this has to do with a media leak strategy now, we understand. 

I have got to get your take on this, because they were pretty effective with their media leak strategy, if you're telling me that 20 percent of the American people actually believe it.

We are going to take a short break, Mr. Chairman, but I have got to get your take on these new texts that we just -- were revealed this past week, where we hear Peter Strzok say, well done, Page. You just planted two negative stories about Donald Trump and company. 

We will get to that. Stay with us. More with Devin Nunes when we come back. 

Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you would like to hear from the chairman of Intel, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

Back in a moment. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

BARTIROMO: And we're back now with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes from Tulare.

Mr. Chairman, let me ask you to comment on what we learned this week, some of these texts that were revealed from Peter Strzok to his girlfriend, Lisa Page, about a media leak strategy.

So here is one, where Peter Strzok says to her: "I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you that I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go."

Twelve days later, he says: "Article is out. Well done, Page."

Your reaction to this? 

NUNES: Yes. 

Well, and what you see is the mainstream media and even Strzok's attorneys have said, no, no, he actually wanted to get to the bottom of leaks. He was really worried about getting to the bottom making sure nobody was leaking. 

Look, that's not what was happening. What was happening here -- and this ought to scare American people -- it scares me to know that the FBI and DOJ would go out and leak fake news stories in many cases, plant them in many cases, and then pick up those fake news stories to use it as a pretext -- and that's the word that they use in their texts, in one of their text messages -- a pretext to go out and interview American citizens, knock on their door and say, look, we read these three news stories that we're not going to tell you we actually planted with the news, and we want to talk to you about these new stories.

So that's first. 

Second, don't forget that the Page -- the Carter Page FISA, it wasn't just that they used the Clinton dirt to -- as a basis to go out and get the FISA. They also used planted news stories to corroborate the -- the dossier in front of the court. So they went to the court and said, look, look at these news stories, Judge. They actually match this dossier, never telling the court that actually, no, those were planted news stories by the Clinton campaign and the FBI.

So these -- these people are really dirty. I hope that we continue to get all of this information out before the election, so that people know just how sick this Russia Kool-Aid that's been poured upon the American people, how bad it's really been. 

BARTIROMO: It's just been extraordinary to me how all of these agents were politicized. Here we are, the summer of 2016. It's a major presidential election, and all of this misconduct, not just from this cabal of people at the top of the FBI and the DOJ, but also perhaps the CIA.

And then we see John Brennan all over town trashing the president. 

Here is the Peter Strzok text on December 15, 2016, referring to the CIA, we believe: "We think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they're kicking into overdrive," says Peter Strzok to Lisa Page. 

Your thoughts on this? And is that the CIA, "our sisters"? 

NUNES: Well, it's hard to know from that -- from that text.

But what I -- I can tell you is that we -- we saw, I think, an unprecedented level of coordination between the Clinton campaign, their associates, like Fusion GPS and others, who had ties and tentacles into the FBI and other agencies, the Department of State, where they were able to generate fake news stories, and dozens and dozens, really.

BARTIROMO: Right. 

NUNES: If you go back, you can probably pick out about two to three dozen authors of -- reporters...

BARTIROMO: Incredible. Yes. 

NUNES: .... that actually were fed this directly, and then spread that out...

BARTIROMO: Right. 

NUNES: ... in order to use it as a basis for an investigation. 

BARTIROMO: We got to jump, Mr. Chairman.

But I know that if the House slips in November, you will no longer be the chairman. Perhaps your colleague on the left, Adam Schiff, may very well be. We won't hear another word about this story. 

We will see you soon, Mr. Chairman. Thanks very much. 

NUNES: Thank you. 

BARTIROMO: Chairman Nunes joining us.

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