Rep. Devin Nunes defended President Trump’s authority to make foreign policy decisions and told critics complaining about Rudy Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine to get over themselves.
The California Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee dismissed concerns government officials have had over the actions of the president’s personal lawyer, telling them it’s “tough luck” during an appearing on “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday.
(Video: Fox News)
“The president was very clear on foreign policy, he did not like money that we were spending overseas on anything,” Nunes said.
Trump has been “very supportive of having a strong defense,” Nunes explained, “but I think that made a lot of Republicans, including myself back in the day [think], ‘Does this guy really know what’s going on here?’ Some of these global institutions, like NATO, really does serve a purpose.'”
“But thank God, look at what he’s done,” Nunes continued. “He doesn’t want our State Department and Defense Department working with these European countries and others that are part of NATO unless they have a plan to get to two percent. This whole talk about bribery, corruption, a quid pro quo, the president ran on these issues.”
The congressman noted the corruption that has plagued Ukraine preceded Trump’s administration.
“Ukraine is a corrupt country, it’s been a corrupt country, there were no signs out there and there still are very few signs that Ukraine is on the mend, you essentially just had a change of a candidate supported by some oligarch and now it’s a candidate supported by a new oligarch,” Nunes said.
“The president had every right, as a matter of fact, Congress actually stipulates that we can’t be giving money to corrupt countries,” he explained, calling out criticism from officials who testified before Congress last week, including State Department official George Kent, top U.S. Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
“These ambassadors were upset that the president somehow was going around them. Well, tough. Tough,” he told Levin.
Yovanovitch’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday followed in the footsteps of the week’s previous witnesses to say she had no firsthand knowledge of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Yovanovitch answered with a telling “no” to questions about whether she had any information about Trump taking any bribes or engaging in any criminal activity “at all.”
Game over: How one GOP lawmaker took 30 seconds to get to bottom-line admission from Yovanovitch https://t.co/VF66atWp8e
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 16, 2019
“We kept coming out, saying look we understand there’s a policy disagreement,” Nunes told Levin. “People in the State Department didn’t like that the president had a special envoy, they didn’t like that the EU investor was going over to Ukraine, they didn’t like that Rudy Giuliani was investigating what was happening in Ukraine.”
“But tough luck,” the GOP congressman added. “The president gets to make those calls.”