President Donald Trump said Thursday that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian award given in the U.S. – for his handling of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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The Fox & Friends interview began with Trump downplaying rumors he planned to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the November midterm election.
Trump went further to attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and praise conservative congressmen, before pivoting to Nunes specifically.
“If this turns out as everyone thinks it will, Devin Nunes should get the Medal of Honor,” he said. “What he’s gone through, and his bravery, he should get a very important medal.”
Trump then clarified Nunes should receive the Medal of Freedom, not the Medal of Honor – which is only given to military veterans.
The president also criticized the special investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties with Russia, which he denied vehemently several times throughout nearly 20-minute interview.
Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, grew to national prominence during the Russia investigation after he released a controversial memo on the subject, made a now-infamous trip to the White House to speak to the president during the investigation and recused himself from it several times.
Democrats, including fellow Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell, have accused Nunes of stifling the investigation in an effort to cover for Trump and his staff.
Rory Appleton: 559-441-6015, @RoryDoesPhonics