A Republican lawmaker from California has been reportedly operating his own news website.
Politico reported that “GOP memo author” Rep. Devin Nunes and his campaign were behind The California Republican, a website that calls itself a “media/news company” in its Facebook description and claims to have “the best of U.S., California and Central Valley news, sports and analysis.” According to Politico, however, the website was registered by Alex Tavlian of Sultana Media, which was paid $7,773 by the Nunes campaign for “advertising; digital advertising management.”
Tavlian told Politico he did not run the website and was not familiar with it.
The California Republican, who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and was a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team, has been offline since the Politico report, but a version cached by Google contained the following disclaimer:
Paid for by the Devin Nunes Campaign Committee · FEC ID #C00370056
The Facebook page did not appear to contain a similar disclaimer.
Nunes has not yet responded to the accusations.
One headline on the website ― “Understanding the process behind #ReleaseTheMemo” ― referred to the controversial and partisan memo drafted by staffers in Nunes’ office, which Trump incorrectly claimed vindicated him in the Russia investigation. The story, written before the memo was made public, summarized and linked to a story in the conservative National Review that called on lawmakers to release the memo.
Democrat Andrew Janz, who hopes to unseat Nunes in the coming midterm elections, slammed his rival on Twitter for creating the fake news site: