Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, at Friday’s impeachment hearing brought up the allegation that Democrats have been trying to get pics of the president in the buff:
“When you find yourself on the phone, as Democrats did, with Russian pranksters offering nude photos of Trump, and afterward you order your staff to follow up and get the photos, as Democrats also did, then it might be time to ask yourself if you’ve gone out too far on a limb.”
The moment, which appears 3:08 in the video above, marked the second time this week that Nunes mentioned the rumored nudies during the hearings. And the lawmaker previously mentioned the titillating topic during a September hearing regarding the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president that kicked the impeachment process into high gear.
Nunes’ comments appear to stem from a 2017 call made to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) from two Russian pranksters claiming to represent the Ukrainian government, which The Atlantic reported on early last year. They claimed to have “compromising” information on Trump that included, among other things, nude photos of Trump with a Russian celebrity. Schiff responded that he would try to work with the FBI to obtain the information.
A spokesman for Schiff told The Atlantic for the magazine’s 2018 article that upon receiving the call, the House Intelligence Committee had immediately “informed appropriate law-enforcement and security personnel of the conversation, and of our belief that it was probably bogus.”
At the time of the call, Schiff was the ranking Democrat on the then-Republican-controlled Intelligence Committee. With Democrats now holding the House majority, Schiff chairs the panel and is overseeing its impeachment inquiry.
One Twitter user sensed that Nunes’ willingness to dwell on the nude photo matter might inspire a writing opportunity:
Others thought Nunes’ naked accusations were sending some kind of secret Bat-signal.
Still others wanted to make sure that people understood where they stood on the nude Trump topic:
One person made sure to take note of a popular Twitter account hat Nunes is suing (Devin Nunes’ Cow):
This story has been updated with details of the 2017 phone call to Schiff from Russian pranksters.