Feb 3, 2018

Nunes didn't read the FISA applications mentioned in memo

Rep. Devin Nunes gives a press conference. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes, who led the release of the memo, admitted to Fox News' Bret Baier that he hadn't read the FISA documents that made up the basis of the memo.

Why it matters: The memo is largely based on the argument that there were FISA abuses within the FBI, particularly relating to former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, some are criticizing Nunes for not reading these pertinent documents himself before releasing the memo.

How it happened: "So, the agreement we made with the Department of Justice was to create a reading room and allow one member and two investigators to go over and review the documents," Nunes told Baier. "I thought the best person on our committee will be the chairman of the Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, who has a long career as a federal prosecutor, to go and do this.  And then they over a series of meetings would come back with their notes and brief the rest of the committee members."

  • This further raises questions about whether there was any incorrect information provided to the FBI in support of surveilling Page.

One quick thing: Baier also asked Nunes about Rod Rosenstein, specifically citing the outside conservative group calling for his resignation, which Axios first reported. "I personally like Rod Rosenstein," Nunes said. "But look, the bottom line here is that Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. Sessions, Attorney General Sessions and Director Wray have work to do.  And they can’t start doing their work to root the problems if you don’t admit first that you have a problem.  And they have been unwilling to do that." 

Go deeper: Between the lines of the Nunes memo.

Go deeper

Netanyahu says July 1 deadline for West Bank annexation won't change

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday at a Likud Party faction meeting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, that his July 1 deadline for starting the process of annexation in the West Bank will not change, according to people in attendance.

Why it matters: The White House and the State Department have stressed over the last few weeks that the deadline set by Netanyahu is "not sacred" to the Trump administration — and that any discussion of annexation needs to be in the context of renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina if capacity reduced

President Trump on stage during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Ohio. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

President Trump threatened in a series of Monday tweets to move this summer's Republican National Convention from Charlotte if North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, doesn't allow the event to be held at full capacity.

The state of play: Mandy Cohen, the state's health and human services secretary, said last week that the GOP should "plan for the worst" as mass gatherings will be a "very big challenge" if the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to increase, per NPR.

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.