With his insulting remarks, Trump combined two of his favorite activities: undermining the Russia investigation and disrespecting our military.
Trump said Thursday that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) deserves "the Medal of Honor" for relentlessly undermining the Russia investigation — which earned Trump a sharp rebuke from a combat veteran serving in the U.S. Senate.
During a rambling 46-minute interview on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning, Trump went on an extended rant about the Republican campaign to smear the Russia investigation. He claimed that Nunes, who has led this dishonest effort, should be awarded our nation's highest military honor for his "bravery."
"Devin Nunes should get the Medal of Honor,” Trump said. "What he’s gone through, and his bravery, he should get a very important medal." Or, Trump added, perhaps Nunes should get the Medal of Freedom, a civilian honor.
This comment drew the ire of Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a U.S. Army veteran who lost both her legs while serving in the Iraq War.
After Trump's comments aired, Duckworth tweeted, "I don’t care who you are. Never insult real Medal of Honor recipients with your fake hyperbolic rantings."
Duckworth then tweeted a link to the Wikipedia page of Mike Novosel, who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
"This is Mike Novosel, a real MOH [Medal of Honor] recipient who I was honored to call my friend," Duckworth wrote. "He lies at rest in ARLINGTON’s sacred grounds. His headstone reads simply 'A good Soldier.'"
Trump has made a disgusting habit of disrespecting our military. But this latest insult is made even worse given that he is also praising Nunes for undermining an investigation into a hostile foreign power's interference in our elections, and Trump's role in that interference.
When the Russia investigation began to unfold in 2017, Nunes colluded with the White House to fabricate allegations that Trump associates were improperly “unmasked” in intelligence reports. These allegations bolstered Trump’s lie that President Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower, and helped cast the Justice Department as biased against Trump.
As the Russia probe progressed, Nunes and the Republicans spent several weeks in January hyping a memo about a FISA application that was supposed to contain bombshell revelations about the FBI being biased against Trump. When the memo was finally released, however, it was an embarrassing failure that actually debunked GOP attacks on the Russia probe.
In fact, every bit of material that Nunes has pushed to have released has wound up showing even more conclusively that his attacks on the Russia investigation were all lies.
Nunes continues to push for more documents to be declassified — even at the expense of national security — and to use the Department of Justice’s refusal to compromise national security as a pretext to attack, and even try to impeach, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Devin Nunes' obstruction of the Russia investigation has obviously earned him Trump's gratitude. But to suggest his lies are worthy of any American honor is the deepest of insults.