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BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
Special counsel Robert Mueller indicting 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking the DNC and the Clinton campaign in order to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, this as President Trump is gearing up to meet face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow in Helsinki.
Joining me right now to talk about all of the above, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
Mr. Chairman, it's always a pleasure to see you.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIFORNIA: It's great to be here live. I'm not coming from California.
BARTIROMO: I know. I'm happy.
NUNES: It looks so different.
BARTIROMO: It's great that you're on set. So thank you very much.
These Russian indictments, we could have known about them earlier this year, when you actually came out with your report back in -- back in March, and then the findings released to the public at the end of April. I have got the report right in front of me.
Your reaction to these indictments?
NUNES: Well, we knew about this a year-and-a-half ago.
Almost everything in the -- in the indictment, we knew about. In -- March 22, we released our findings that you have in front of you right there.
Those findings were available March 22. If you remember, the media mocked us.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I do remember.
NUNES: They made fun of the Republicans. They said it was a whitewash. The Democrats said it was a whitewash. Nearly everything the Democrats said about our report was that it was a whitewash.
Then we had to fight with the intelligence agencies and the Department of Justice, so that they wouldn't redact and they would declassify our report. That was finished in April.
So, this entire report that you have in front of you, including -- all you had to do was get page four, and you only had to read chapter two, and you would have had nearly everything that's in the indictment.
BARTIROMO: That is pretty incredible. Look at all these redactions that you can actually see on the screen.
NUNES: And it's page after page of that.
NUNES: And, actually, there's more in this report.
NUNES: Than what's in the indictment, OK?
And this is what -- this is what's very frustrating. So -- so, it's great that they indicted Russians. Yes, they did bad things. I mean, they're always up to bad things. We know that. They have very sophisticated intelligence capabilities in Russia. And they are always -- they are constantly attacking the United States and our allies.
However, in the indictment, they leave out some really important people that they also went after.
So, the indictment plays like they're only going after the Democrats, when Bob Mueller and all his investigators and his lawyers know for a fact that they also targeted Republicans.
Why is that not in the indictment? It makes the indictment look ridiculous.
BARTIROMO: OK. So.
NUNES: Now, I'm not saying they shouldn't be indicted. I'm just saying that.
BARTIROMO: That the Russians were targeting both Democrats and Republicans.
NUNES: And Republicans.
NUNES: And they know that. It's in our report.
So why doesn't the -- why doesn't Department of Justice allow this to be declassified, so the American public can see this?
BARTIROMO: The other thing is that these people are never going to see justice, right? I mean, we don't have jurisdiction over these -- these people. They're not going to come to the U.S.
And so they really won't actually be held accountable.
NUNES: Right. They're intelligence officers, so they're not going to be held accountable.
It doesn't mean, though, that we shouldn't call out Russia for attacking our -- conducting cyber-attacks on our system.
BARTIROMO: But the timing of this, I mean, they -- they released this right after the Peter Strzok hearing.
And your point is, we knew all of this year ago. Why is now the time to make these arrests, and not a year ago, when you actually had the information?
NUNES: Well, I have to call into question. You knew about this a year- and-a-half ago. You for sure knew it because you got our report. So you for sure knew it by March and April of this year.
And then it looks like all you did, all the Mueller did was validate our report, indict some Russians, and leave out, I think, some very pertinent, relative of -- evidence that the American public should see, which is why we continue to have to fight.
This report has been mocked by the media, has been mocked by the Democrats, and still is mostly redacted by the Department of Justice and the intelligence agencies.
BARTIROMO: And all of these redactions really underline a common theme. And that has been obstruction on the left.
You look at that Peter Strzok trial last -- Peter Strzok hearing, rather, last week. And there was so much obstruction on the Democrats. They were trying to change the subject. They -- they were trying to stop the questioning of what went on during the 2016 election.
So, how are you going to get the information, when you see you're in a catch-22 situation? Because every time -- you want to know why the Trump collusion investigation launched in the first place.
But when you ask that question of Peter Strzok or anybody else in the FBI, they're going to say, we can't talk about it because it's an active investigation. And it is, by the special counsel.
NUNES: Yes. So there's -- so, there's a couple points, I think, that are important.
So, we have add before July 31 of 2016, we have asked the Department of Justice for months and months and months -- I have said on your show -- did you run informants? How many informants did you have before the investigation was even open? How much did you pay these informants to run into Trump campaign or officials or associates?
Because the Department of Justice is trying to say -- and the FBI -- that they didn't do anything until after July 31. So that's -- we're still waiting on that information. I think that is really important information the American people should know.
The second biggest problem we have is that the president of the United States has got to declassify this. Why was -- if the president of the United States would have declassified this -- if you go through page after page after page of this, OK, the Mueller indictment would look ridiculous today, if this was redacted -- if this was unredacted and declassified.
Well, you know what? Because there is a big portion of the country that will say, oh, he's trying to get in the middle of an investigation, which is why I asked the president two weeks ago, when I sat down with him in that exclusive interview with President Trump, whether or not he's going to declassify these documents.
Listen to this.
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BARTIROMO: Meanwhile, there an op-ed in this weekend's Wall Street Journal.
And the title is, "After the Strzok Stone Wall," basically saying, we're obviously not going to get to the truth through the legal process. The president has got to declassify.
Do you think he will do it?
NUNES: Well, I think he has to.
And I think this is a great example of it. It's not just about Strzok. It's not just about the FISA. Now you have information in our report here that he should have already declassified.
And I think then the American people would have known. I mean, we basically wrote the indictment for Mueller. The House Republicans, without the support of the Democrats, wrote the indictment for the Mueller special counsel, essentially, and information that we have had for over a year.
So, now you have Strzok, who's -- who is stonewalling Congress, not answering questions, looks very foolish. You add on to the fact that you still have the FISA that is sitting out there that should be declassified, so the American public can see it, because what is consistent in all of this investigation for a year-and-a-half?
House Republicans come out and say something, and then we get attacked by the mainstream media, mocked by the mainstream media and the Democrats.
But every time, when the truth eventually comes out, we're proven right. And we will be proven right again if the FISA -- majority of the FISA is declassified, so the American public can make up their mind, were the counterintelligence agencies abused by the Obama administration or were they not?
And, at this point, we have got, what, 25 or 26 Russians that have been indicted, the number of Russians colluding with -- with Donald Trump, zero, five Americans indicted, four of them for lying to the FBI, and Manafort for a 20-year-old bank fraud.
So there are reports today that the special counsel is looking to wrap this up by the end of the summer. Do you believe that?
NUNES: I don't believe it.
I mean, they look -- I hope that's the case, but they look way too political to me, because every time it seems like something comes out, Strzok or -- or, before that, we had when the FISA stuff came out, the special counsel always seems to be reactive to try to, I think, create narratives.
And maybe that's not the case, but it sure looks like the case.
BARTIROMO: So, where does your investigation stand now into the State Department and into really how this launch took place of the Trump-Russia probe?
NUNES: We are -- we are waiting on the Department of Justice to give us that information before July 31, which, for week after week after week, they continue not to do it.
They did provide a lot of documents that are -- that are aiding us in our investigation. And then we have kicked over 42 names. Strzok and Page are two of those 42 names.
BARTIROMO: But, also, Glenn Simpson is on that list.
NUNES: Yes. So, there's -- and those, we kicked to the task force from the Oversight Committee. And Mr. Ratcliffe is on this task force.
We need these people interviewed on camera as soon as possible.
BARTIROMO: Real quick, before you go, let me -- let me ask you in terms of what happens now and whether or not you think we're going to see accountability here.
NUNES: I think you only see accountability if there is either a second special counsel that investigates all of this or there is somebody that is outside of the leadership of the Department of Justice who can run a -- a real investigation abuse of power and other issues.
BARTIROMO: What should the president ask or speak to Putin about?
NUNES: Well, the president has to be tough.
Well, number one, I would say, don't hand a reset button over, like Hillary Clinton did.
BARTIROMO: Yes, the big.
NUNES: That's number one.
NUNES: Number two, what he's doing with Europe and NATO is what's needed to be done for a long time, which is, one, pay your fair share.
And, two, we cannot allow Eastern Europe to rely on German -- on Russian gas. The Germans are building pipelines, getting Russian gas, feeding the Russian beast, right, while the Germans are only paying 1.3 percent.
NUNES: So, I laugh about all these people who are saying that Trump shouldn't meet with Putin.
Trump has done more on the highest issues at the most important level, pointing them out to the Europeans and us, and the American people, that you have got to stop buying gas from Russians and you have to beef up defense in Poland, Romania and the Baltics.
That's what needs to happen. And only by force, brute force will Putin understand anything.
NUNES: And we should give the president the room to do that.
BARTIROMO: And you would imagine that this -- obviously, these indictments are brought up as well.
NUNES: Yes, I would guess.
But -- but that's -- it's -- it's just ridiculous.
BARTIROMO: Mr. Chairman, it's really good to see you this morning.
NUNES: Nice to see in person.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.
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