“Don’t look at me, don’t look at Russia, there’s nothing to see here” | Someone’s trying to distract from the Trump-Russia debacle

by Itunuoluwa Adebo

A senior Democrat alleged Sunday, that Trump’s White House and a Republican congressman who is supposed to be investigating Russian interference in the US election conspired to divert attention from Moscow’s actions.

Adam Schiff accused Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, of colluding in an “attempt to distract” the public from concerns over potential links between Trump and Russian meddling. Schiff on CNN’s State of the Union said that Nunes and the WH had made an “effort to point the Congress in other directions, to say, ‘Don’t look at me, don’t look at Russia there’s nothing to see here.”

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Nunes threw his investigation into chaos last month by announcing, that he had received evidence that members of Trump’s presidential campaign were swept up in electronic surveillance of foreigners by the Obama administration.

The congressman’s announcement gave a boost to efforts by Trump and his backers in the rightwing media to reframe Obama-era investigations of Russian interference – and possible collusion with Trump associates – as nothing more than politically motivated surveillance of the Republican presidential campaign.

Trump who falsely claimed that Nunes’s findings supported his false allegation on March 4 that Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump’s campaign headquarters by US spies.

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It then came out two WH officials were actually involved in supplying Nunes with the evidence of “incidental” surveillance of Trump staff, suggesting intelligence materials may have been used for political purposes. Nunes viewed the documents during a mysterious late-night visit to the White House.

Schiff accused those involved of trying to “hide the White House hand” in making public the information. US intelligence officials have concluded the Russian interference was designed to help Trump beat Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

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