House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes defended his $150 million lawsuit against The McClatchy Company and others on Wednesday, accusing the news agency of being the “biggest perpetrator of fake news.”
Nunes, R-Calif., made the comment on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, adding: “They’re (McClatchy) the ones that said that Cohen was in Prague, it was all nonsense and they need to retract those fake news stories.”
On Monday, Nunes filed the lawsuit in Virginia state court alleging that one of the news agency's reporters conspired with a political operative to derail Nunes' oversight work into the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian election interference.
“The lawsuit represents a baseless attack on local journalism and a free press. At a time when local journalism is facing more pressing and urgent challenges, the lawsuit is an unproductive distraction and a misuse of the judicial statement,” according to a statement from The McClatchy Company in response to Nunes’ lawsuit.
“I am absolutely sure that they do not want this to get to discovery so that we find out who their sources are,” said Nunes in response to McClatchy’s statement. “Somebody gave them the phony information that the National Rifle Association was involved with Russia collusion, somebody gave them the phony information that Cohen was in Prague when he wasn’t, somebody gave them phony information about me that they ran over and over again across all of their platforms and digitally accusing me of federal crimes. That’s not OK.”
Nunes filed a similar $250 million lawsuit last month alleging defamation against Twitter and one of its users, Republican consultant Liz Mair. In Monday's complaint, obtained by Fox News, Nunes again named Mair as a co-defendant, charging this time that she conspired with McClatchy reporter MacKenzie Mays to spread a variety of untruthful and misleading smears -- including that Nunes "was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes" -- online and in print.
The complaint cited an article published in May by the Fresno Bee and written by Mays. That same day, Mays tweeted the article, mentioning Nunes.
“We sued Twitter because they were shadow banning me, they’re banning conservatives a few weeks ago, we’re taking it to the courts. Now we’re looking at McClatchy but we are actually going to go after several news media outlets. It is not OK, We are public figures,” said Nunes Wednesday.
Reached for comment, Mair directed Fox News to a USA Today op-ed she penned earlier this week concerning Nunes' previous lawsuit titled, "Free speech means I don't have to be nice to Devin Nunes on Twitter. So why's he suing me?"
“You can say mean things to us all you want, but you cannot accuse us maliciously of committing federal crimes over and over again,” said Nunes.
He added: “They can talk all they want but we’ll see them in court.”