(CNSNews.com) - Did the FBI have a good reason -- or did it manufacture one -- to launch its counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign? That's what Republicans on the House intelligence committee are trying to find out, Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday.
Nunes said the committee still has not seen any "credible evidence or intelligence" explaining why the FBI opened its investigation into Trump-Russia coordination.
"I think if the campaign was somehow set up, I think that would be a problem," Nunes said. "Right? If there were somehow meetings that occurred, and all of this was a setup. We have yet to see any credible evidence or intelligence that led to the opening of this investigation."
Asked if Donald Trump was "framed," Nunes said, "Well, first of all, I believe they never should have opened a counter-intelligence investigation into a political party. Counter-intelligence investigations are-- very rarely do they happen, and when they do happen, you have to be very careful because you're using the tools of our intelligence services and relationships with other countries in order to spy on a political campaign -- probably not a good idea."
Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS -- the firm hired by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign to produce a "dossier" on Trump -- told the House Judiciary Committee last year that there was a "human source" inside the Trump campaign.
Simpson said the same thing in a New York Times op-ed, writing in January: "We don’t believe the Steele dossier was the trigger for the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian meddling. As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp."
"We believe he (Simpson) was telling the truth," Nunes said. "And what we are trying to do is get the documents to figure out did they actually have-- What methods were used to open this counter-intelligence investigation...And that's what we are trying to get to the bottom of. We are trying to put clarity and sunlight for the American people so they know everything that happened on how this investigation began."
Nunes noted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, could "clean this mess up" without divulging sources or methods.
"Lay all the cards out on the table," Nunes advised. "Here is what happened and how this counter-intelligence investigation was opened."
And if the FBI never had any evidence of collusion, "then you have to ask yourself, why did they open this investigation?" Nunes asked.
Nunes said he and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) had a "productive meeting" with Justice Department officials last week involving documents subpoenaed by the committee, and he expects to return to DOJ on Wednesday to get answers to some questions that arose. "And I think we'll have another productive session. And hopefully you begin to shine some light on this whole situation."
Rush Limbaugh, on his radio program Monday, described in detail "the most amazing story...of entrapment."
According to Limbaugh, the FBI employed an "operative" to "entrap somebody who worked with the Trump campaign, in a peripheral way, and it worked like a charm."
Limbaugh said George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser on the Trump team, was the perfect "mark." He was set up by three people, including the FBI's "spy," to believe that the Russians had thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails. But Papadopoulos only "knew" about the emails because two of the three people told him they existed.
Next, Papadopoulos was set up to get drunk with an Australian ambassador at a London bar. According to Limbaugh, "Papadopoulos starts bragging to the Australia ambassador, 'Hey, did you know that the Russians have thousands of emails?'
"Papadopoulos passed this information along as though it were his own," Limbaugh said. "He was just trying to fit in. He was just trying to be a big guy. Papadopoulos telling this story to the Australia ambassador is what triggered this as news. Papadopoulos did not independently know this. He was fed this information."
And because a "Trump campaign official" had now told the ambassador about the Clinton emails, the ambassador "could then report to the FBI, DOJ, that a member of the Trump campaign has been saying that the Russians have thousands of Hillary's emails."
"The whole thing was a setup," Limbaugh said. "It was perfect entrapment 101. When Papadopoulos was questioned about this by the FBI, he lied about some things, and that’s why Mueller indicted him, convicted him, and he was found guilty of lying to the FBI because at some point he realized what was going on," Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh said the FBI needed another reason -- aside from the flimsy Steele dossier -- to conduct its Trump-Russia investigation, and "Papadopoulos was the mark."
"Now, folks, everything I’ve just told you is what Devin Nunes at the House Intelligence Committee is trying to get confirmed. And evidence of this is what has been redacted by Rosenstein and the DOJ," Limbaugh said.