Rep. Devin Nunes: We've Been Warning Administration About Russian Hacking 'And They Did Nothing'

Susan Jones | January 9, 2017 | 6:56am EST
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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) chairs the House Intelligence Committee. (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House intelligence committee, said he has no doubt that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. election, but that's nothing new, he said -- "this has been going on for a long time."

"Six months ago, I publicly came out and said that this was the biggest intelligence failure since 9/11, was our failure to understand Putin’s plans and intentions," Nunes told "Fox News Sunday."

"We've known that Russia is a very sophisticated bad actor in the cyber realm.  Many members of Congress, not just members of the House Intelligence Committee, have been warning the Obama administration about Russia's continued cyber attacks on this country, and they did nothing.  

"And so, now, as you look forward, you know, they lose an election, and then it appears like they want to change this narrative into somehow that Russia was responsible for Hillary Clinton losing the election.  And I just don't buy that."

A report released Friday by the intelligence agencies concluded that "Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-Elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him." But the report found no evidence that the Russian hacking actually affected the election results.

Trump on Saturday tweeted: "Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only 'stupid' people, or fools, would think that it is bad! "

"It doesn't sound like he’s ready to crack down on the Kremlin," host Chris Wallace told Nunes.

"And he wouldn't be the first president to want to be buddies with Putin," Nunes responded. "So, you had President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, including Secretary Clinton who hit the reset button.  Don't forget that you had President Obama, who got caught on a hot mic talking about being more flexible after the election with Vladimir.

"So, clearly, three presidents have tried to be friends with Putin.  All three have failed, and I hope that Donald Trump, you know, he has a lot more information going into this, and I’ve cautioned his administration to be careful with Putin, because I think he is a bad actor.  

"Although it remains true, the fact of the matter is, we would like to be friends with the Russians.  I just don't know if it's possible.  We’ve had a lot of experience with Putin.  He just doesn't seem to be a guy that we can work with."

Nunes said that Donald Trump, with his Cabinet picks, "is surrounding himself with very good people who understand the threat that Russia poses."

Also See:
McConnell: 'Not Unusual for a New President to Want to Get Along With the Russians'

Obama: I Don't Think I Underestimated' Putin

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