Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, ranked member of the House Intelligence Committee, panicked how the press covered last week's violent interrogation in an opening salvo defending President Trump on Tuesday before nine more witnesses testify publicly this week.
Nunes called stories of allegations that Trump partnered with Russia for help in the 2016 election and newer stories of accusations he sought to arrange a quid pro quo with Ukraine – US military aid for investigations that would benefit Trump – "favorably" and labeled the press "dolls" for the Democratic Party.
"If you looked at the hearing last week, you may have noticed a link between what you actually saw and the most common media calculations that described it," Nunes said in her opening statement before the testimony began Tuesday. "You saw three diplomats who disapproved of President Trump's Ukraine policy discussing second-hand conversations and third-hand about their objections to Trump policy."
DEMOCRATS SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST TRUMP SPARKED WHITE HOUSE INVOLVEMENT IN UKRAINE, DEVIN NUNES SAYS
"But what you read in the press were stories of shocking, condemning and explosive testimony that fully supported the Democrats' accusations" .
Nunes went on to list several stories of alleged Russian cooperation that were debunked before returning to his attacks against the press.
"With their partial misreporting of Russia's hoax, the media lost confidence in millions of millions of Americans, and because they refuse to acknowledge how badly they told the story, they have learned no lessons and simply expect Americans to believe them when they are trying to stock another partisan, "he said.
What the press and Democrats ignore, Nunes said, were "crucial questions" that Republicans have pushed to have answered.
Nunes asked to what extent the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment investigation coordinated with Democrats and the intelligence committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., And what the whispers' political beliefs include.
In contrast, Schiff gave a muted opening statement repeating the testimony's first weeks before giving committee members a directive on how to handle today's hearings.
"If [Trump] tried to condition, coerce, blackmail or bribe an ally to conduct investigations to support his reelection campaign and did so by withholding official documents – a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid – it will be it is up to us to decide whether these documents are consistent with the Presidency's office, "he said.
Tuesday's sessions at the House Intelligence Committee started with Lt Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, an advisor at Vice President Pence's office.
Witnesses, both foreign policy experts, previously said that they listened with concern when Trump spoke on July 25 with the newly elected President of Ukraine. The government's whistleblower complaint about this call prompted the House Democrats to launch the investigation into violence.
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Democrats claim that Trump contained nearly $ 400 million in military aid and a meeting of the Oval Office of Ukraine in hopes of taking advantage of Ukrainian President Voldomyr Zelensky to investigate Holdings and alleged Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election. 2020 Contributor Joe Biden's son, Hunter, worked for Burisma despite having few qualifications regarding Ukraine or energy. The theory of electoral disturbances has been largely discredited.
Republicans and Trump have used several lines of defense against the investigation into violence, arguing that Democrats are not giving Trump the right process, that support was eventually delivered even without any investigations, and that Democrats have been looking for an issue to accuse Trump of since he was elected. Republicans have specifically pointed out that Ukraine's whistleblower lawyer openly called for a "coup" and impeachment against Trump's inauguration.
Nune's statement Tuesday also touched on another GOP defense of Trump – that the president controls foreign policy and diplomats to testify during a hearing on Democrats' ability to hear simply "disapproved" of his Ukraine policy.
Fox News & Gregg Re and the Associated Press contributed to this report.