Graham says Nunes’ objectivity ‘in question’

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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaking with attendees at the 2015 Iowa Growth & Opportunity Party at the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr Create Commons

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham believes House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has “put his objectivity in question” when it comes to investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.

The South Carolina senator, appearing on NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday morning, said Nunes (R-Calif.) should disclose the source behind his claim that President Donald J. Trump’s transition team was inadvertently surveilled following the election.

“If he’s not willing to tell the Democrats and Republicans on the committee who he met with and what he was told, then I think he’s lost his ability to lead,” Graham said. “I think he put his objectivity in question at the very least.”

Nunes recently claimed a source had shown him intelligence reports that suggested information had been incidentally collected from the Trump transition team during a broader intelligence probe. Nunes has been unwilling to name his source but did reveal that he had a meeting at the White House one day before he made his announcement, raising questions about his motivations.

Graham said the series of events revolving around Nunes is “bizarre,” but he stopped short of saying whether the House Intelligence Committee chairman should recuse himself from the probe into Russian election interference.

“The problem that he’s created is he’s gone off on a lark by himself, sort of an Inspector Clouseau investigation here,” Graham said, comparing the chairman’s performance to Peter Sellers’ iconic detective rom the “Pink Panther” movies. “The only way this thing can be repaired is he tells his colleagues on the House intel committee who he met with and what he saw and let them look at the same information.”

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