American politician of Portuguese origin who have reached great heights in the state hierarchy of the United States, came to Lisbon to spend a number of meetings. True to the Trump, the Chairman of the intelligence Committee of the house of representatives is a hardliner in foreign policy.
Congressman Devin Nunes (Devin Nunes), the most influential “Portuguese” in American politics — recently found themselves the center of attention due to the investigation of cases of Russian intervention — from the very beginning supported President trump and participated in the work of his transition team. Belongs to a number of uncompromising Republicans.
Expresso: what about the relations between the United States and Russia after the launch of a number of investigations into alleged ties between Moscow and the team of Donald trump?
Devin Nunez: I don’t have any illusions. To some extent, Putin — not the unscrupulous dictator. I have for many years been trying to pay attention to it, but my warnings were completely ignored by the Obama administration. I doubt that Putin may work. All presidents dream about, but dreams remain dreams.
— However, a serious problem at the beginning of the new administration was just relations with Russia, including in your case.
— I was one of those who a year ago warned about the possible steps of Russia, I said that our inability to understand its intentions and plans is the biggest defeat since September 11. The Obama administration has left my warnings unheeded, and I made a few public statements.
— Why was nothing taken?
Because they were trying to reach an agreement with Russia on Iran, on Syria… the Russian for a long time manifest themselves as unreliable partners, a number of American presidents since bill Clinton tried to work with Russia and Putin, and always unsuccessfully. It seems to me that President trump will not succeed.
But in any case he will have to deal with Russia is a huge country and a nuclear power.
Is actually why all the presidents and secretaries of state are still trying to work with Putin.
So how to solve this problem?
— Personally I am in favour of tougher sanctions, to send weapons to Ukraine, which, incidentally, approved by the Congress, but did not last administration. We were warned about cybersexuality that Russian practice for many years, in 2013, we received very specific warnings, but nothing was done. I think the Russians understand only the language of brute force. The use of force and to prevent attempts to cross over the marked line.
But the use of brute force quite a dangerous step.
— All dangerous, but much more dangerous if they take over the Baltic States. What will happen then? We don’t know how far they are willing to go. We are talking about different degrees of danger. Meanwhile the most dangerous thing to do nothing.
— In charge of the administration of the trump based on the opposite: that before the election the team of trump concluded with the Russians a kind of agreement to cause harm to the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
We must rely on the facts: for the above, there is no evidence. This issue is the subject of several investigations. I’m closely watching Russia, and for many years, even decades, they interfere in our elections.
— What do you mean? How?
— Yes, over several decades, and this time we warned the government about the cyber attack. That is, the intelligence Committee issued a warning against Russia, and again the administration has not taken any measures. We can say that to some extent the Russians do propaganda on a global scale. RT [Russian TV channel in English] is a global network, and they are great masters of propaganda. But they could affect the election results in the United States? I doubt it. I don’t think that team trump was some kind of agreement. In the event of its defeat at the polls people are looking for all sorts of excuses, which have nothing to do with reality. But we are investigating, and if something is found, everyone will know.
— A question about listening?
— I said that the Trump Tower was not conducted wiretapping. But this does not mean that during the transition period trump was not used other methods. They were. The question of their legality should be addressed other investigation of possible cases of the use of secret service improperly.
— You refused to oversee the investigation of Russian interference in the elections, also in relation to you is another matter.
— My political opponents, and such features can make all sorts of statements, but during the service I earned a reputation as a conscientious and reliable employee. I decided so: if you want to press charges — charged. They tried to make me the face of this investigation and succeeded in this, but I couldn’t let that caused some harm to the investigation. Therefore withdrawn, and now we move to the second phase where prosecutors conducted interrogations until I deal with all the alleged charges.
— You blame the fact that you told reporters that Donald trump was listening.
So what happened, a lot of confusion. In short, there were several investigations into the use of our intelligence for political purposes, and it was known long before trump wrote on Twitter. When accumulated a significant amount of evidence, I realized that I was standing in front of a serious problem, then I decided to talk to the press and saying that they are going to report these detections to the White house. It was a press conference! Coming out of the White house, I again talked to the press. I was trying to make its actions as transparent as possible, and accusing me of leaking information! Here’s part of propaganda.
— How do you feel about the statements of his Republican colleagues, for example, Senator McCain?
There are many congressmen who are not averse to pollcat in the news.
For you, this story is far-fetched?
— For me personally Yes, but the fact that she flew across the country and around the world. I think the source is the fact that people do not agree with the election results.
In General, you are waiting for the decision of the ethics Committee?
It will do nothing. What I don’t want is for the investigation in relation to Russia, which is my Committee, had suffered any harm. I don’t take part in it, but standing at the head of the Committee, because we have access to information. I also have access, but I’m not responsible for the investigation and do not conduct the interrogations. The cases we have enough, too: from North Korea and ending with Syria, North Africa, China and the Middle East.
— The situation with North Korea is indeed very dangerous, or do you think that there is a certain element of provocation and shows?
Every time North Korea has any nuclear weapons technology or missile launch, it perfects its weapons and thus continues to increase its military potential. North Korea — the regime-the pariah, which is alarming and represents a growing threat not only to South Korea but also for Japan.
But to deter Pyongyang the United States is necessary to their influence it has had and China.
Is a perpetual problem. China does not. I don’t know what was discussed Chinese and American presidents during a recent meeting, but, judging by published information, the conversation went in a positive way. As for me, I’m sure we can’t let the North Korean dictatorship to continue testing these weapons.
— They are willing to take the United States if North Korea will conduct another test?
— What I like about President Donald trump, is that he’s not talking about his intentions to do something or not to do.
— We have already noticed.
— He is doing great. From a military point of view it is wise not to announce the plans. And immediately take action.
But he is ready to act in case of the next test?
— We have significant military forces in the region.
— The Chinese asked for access to the Bay of Walvis Bay in Namibia.
— They have ports in Sao Tome, Djibouti, the military presence in Sri Lanka and four or five other locations outside the country. They build bases around the world.
— How do you explain such an active promotion of China to the Atlantic?
They have a military contingent in Sao Tome, and we know that they have long had their eye on the Azores, at Lajes do Pico. We know their tactics and what they intend to do in the Azores.
But in Sao Tome and the us military.
It is a small presence, we are not talking about the database or the contingent of troops.
— China and Russia want to settle in the Atlantic from the U.S. to take the region under its control?
— The Chinese Navy will do everything possible to move forward and expand the possibilities for interception of information signals. In 2013, our Committee has information that Huawei and ZTE [Chinese companies in the field of communications] could be used to collect information on a global scale.