A Republican congressman said Thursday that House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) “works for the President.”
“Are you concerned at all that he was viewing what he said was classified information at the White House, and then reported it back to the White House?” MSNBC’s Craig Melvin asked Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) Thursday morning, referring to Nunes.
“You’ve got to keep in mind who he works for. He works for the President, he answers to the President,” Yoho replied.
“Does he, or does he work for the constituents of his district?” Melvin followed up.
“Well, you do both, but when you’re in that capacity, and if you’ve got information – I’m OK with what he did,” Yoho said.
In an email to TPM, Yoho spokesperson Brian Kaveney said the congressman “misspoke” during the interview. “He knows that every member is here because of the people that voted them into office,” Kaveney wrote.
“Members work for their constituents, whether they are rank and file or if they have the honor of serving as a committee chairman,” Kaveney continued. “The congressman stated that he works for his constituents and not for the President. The same reasoning is applied to all members. As I said before, the congressman misspoke plain and simple.”
The House Intelligence Committee is currently investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including “intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”
Nunes has faced calls to recuse himself from the investigation from Democrats, and some Republicans, after he confirmed Monday that he met with a secret source on White House grounds the night before he announced that President Donald Trump’s associates’ information may have been incidentally surveilled by the U.S. intelligence community.
Nunes has refused to name his source, nor has he shared any of his evidence with the rest of the committee, despite briefing Trump immediately after an impromptu press conference announcing his findings.