“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough called on Republicans to drop Rep. Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee after a chain of events that suggested Nunes was sucking up to the White House instead of working in the interests of Congress.
“If the Republican Party wants to do what is best for this country and its national security, they will remove Devin Nunes as Intel Chairman,” tweeted Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida.
The tweet continued the “Mean Girls”-pattern of friendliness and fighting that has characterized the Trump-Scarborough relationship for months. Last week, things got so tense that the president unfollowed Scarborough on Twitter.
How did Nunes awaken Scarborough’s (and other people’s) Twitter fury? As The Hill explains, he announced that he had seen evidence that U.S. intelligence had come across information on members of President Trump’s transition team while conducting routine surveillance of foreign targets.
Trump — who famously claimed, without offering any evidence, that President Obama had wiretapped his Trump Tower office — said he felt “somewhat” vindicated by Nunes’ statement about the surveillance.
(Of course, Nunes’ statement Wednesday didn’t refer to Trump Tower, and he and FBI Director James Comey have said there’s no evidence such surveillance occurred. But in fairness, Trump only said he felt “somewhat” vindicated, not vindicated.)
Nunes made his comment about the surveillance without consulting the top Democrat on his committee, Rep. Adam Schiff.
Then Nunes went to the White House to brief the administration about them, which Democrats said was weird, and suggested Nunes was working for Trump’s team, not his own branch of government.
“Today, Chairman Nunes shared information with WH still withheld from our committee. He cannot conduct a credible investigation this way,” Schiff tweeted.
Nunes said the surveillance didn’t involve probes into Team Trump’s possible Russian ties.
Scarborough has alternately been accused of being too cozy and too standoffish with Trump, though they’re currently in a less-friendly phase. Scarborough also retweeted a sharp Wall Street Journal editorial Wednesday that says Trump is clinging to his tapped-phones assertion “like a drunk to an empty gin bottle.”