(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump's order to declassify documents explaining the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation is "all nonsense," Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Thursday night.
Nadler said there's no "basis" to examine the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation. He called it an "imaginary scandal."
Maddow asked Nadler for his reaction to the breaking news that Trump has issued an executive order directing the intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General's investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election."
"Yeah," Nadler began:
It's part of the Trump and Republican plot to dirty-up the intelligence community, to pretend that there's something wrong with the beginning of the Mueller investigation and to persecute and bring into line the intelligence agencies.
This is the third investigation. Remember, the inspector general of the Department of Justice launched an investigation of Strzok and Page and all these people and concluded their political opinions did not interfere with their decisions in the probe, and that there was nothing wrong with being in the probe.
The attorney general, the prior attorney general, asked the U.S. attorney in Utah...Huber, to do a second investigation. We're waiting for the result of that, and we don't need a third investigation of the same material just designed to further the propaganda against the Mueller investigation and against an apolitical and properly functioning FBI and intelligence community.
Nadler said Trump's order "may just be public relations, I don't know."
"But the fact of the matter is, this is all nonsense. There is no basis whatsoever to believe that anybody in the intelligence community did anything wrong in terms of starting the investigation or the Hillary email investigation. And what they're really trying to do is to divert attention from the Mueller report and from the president's actions against the rule of law to an imaginary scandal."
On another topic, Nadler said Special Counsel Robert Mueller is willing to testify before the House Judiciary Committee -- in private.
“He's willing to make an opening statement but he wants to testify in private. We're saying he ought to -- we think it's important for the American people to hear from him and to hear his answers to questions about the report.”
According to Nadler, Mueller wants to avoid a "political spectacle."
"He envisions himself correctly as a man of great rectitude and apolitical and he doesn't want to participate in anything that he might regard as a political spectacle, especially if Republicans on the committee start asking him questions about the beginning of the -- about this stuff, the beginning of the investigation. I'm speculating really. But he doesn't want to be public in what some people will regard as a political spectacle, I think."