As the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continues to gain steam, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calf.) compared the conduct of House Democrats and the media to a “cult” responsible for poisoning the minds of millions Americans.
Ahead of the House of Representatives Thursday vote to approve procedures that will govern public phase of the impeachment inquiry, Nunes took to the House floor to deliver written remarks castigating his political opponents and news outlets.
“All [Democrats] have is the unconditional cooperation of the media to advance their preposterous narrative. If they had a real case, they wouldn’t be wasting time spoon-feeding ridiculous attacks that include defamation and slander on both current and former Republican staff of the Intelligence Committee,” Nunes said. “What we’re seeing among Democrats on the Intelligence Committee down in the SCIF right now is like a cult.”
“These are a group of people loyally following their leader as he bounces from one outlandish conspiracy theory to another. And the media are the cult followers, permanently stationed outside Committee spaces, pretending to take everything seriously because they too support the goal of removing the President from office,” he continued.
NUNES: "What we're seeing among Democrats on the Intelligence Committee down in the SCIF right now is like a cult. These are a group of people loyally following their leader as he bounces from one outlandish conspiracy theory to another. And the media are the cult followers." pic.twitter.com/Y2roq9qKPN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 31, 2019
Nunes’s remarks were immediately condemned by someone who’s dealt with the real-life horrors of cults, California Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).
As a congressional staffer to Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.) in 1978, Speier was shot five times and “left for dead” on a remote airstrip in South America for 22 hours while trying to help people escape the Jonestown commune built by cult leader Jim Jones. Rep. Ryan died that day and Speier now holds his congressional seat.
“Devin Nunes calling the Intelligence Committee’s fact-finding mission a cult is despicable,” Speier wrote. “I know about cults. Cults are led by maniacal narcissists who expect complete adoration and relinquishment of independent thought. I suggest Mr. Nunes look elsewhere,” she wrote, clearly referring to Nunes’s blind loyalty to Trump.
Nunes made similar comments Wednesday night during a Fox News appearance, in which he said of working with Democrats: “It’s a bit like watching a cult – it’s become a cult.”
“There’s a cult going on in the basement in a SCIF behind locked doors, and then you walk outside, about fifty feet outside the doors, and you see another cult – and that’s the media,” he continued.
[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]