Devin Nunes (Getty/Win McNamee)

Devin Nunes created a partisan news website to hype his memos

The site is financed by Nunes' campaign committee, and its servers crashed when the news broke


Charlie May
February 11, 2018 9:20PM (UTC)

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has endlessly criticized the mainstream media, much to the same tune as President Donald Trump, so his political campaign created its very own alternative news site.

The existence of the website, "The California Republican," which is listed on Facebook as a "media/news company," was first reported by Politico. Hours after the story ran on Sunday morning, the website promptly crashed, at least for some period of time.

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"Due to heavy traffic and an attack on our servers, you may encounter an error message when attempting to reach The Republican," a post on the site's Facebook page read Sunday afternoon. "We apologize for the inconvenience."

The website is financed by Nunes' campaign committee, which it made not of only in small print at the bottom of the site, Politico reported. The most recent front page headline read, "Understanding the process behind #ReleaseTheMemo." Other headlines included inflammatory language and style such as,"CNN busted for peddling fake news AGAIN!"

Other headlines included, "California’s budget future isn’t as good as it looks," and "Billions of dollars later, Democrats and the LA Times start to see the light on high-speed rail," Politico reported. The stories largely cited conservative outlets as well as some mainstream mainstream outlets, and was registered in the middle of last year by, Alex Tavlian, a communications consultant from the Fresno, California, area.

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Since at least last July, Nunes' campaign has paid $7,773 for "advertising; digital advertising management," to Tavlian's company, Sultana Media. Presumably, the site will be used to continue to hype news around the recently released memo, and pending future memos, or attempts to derail the ongoing Russia investigation.

Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has dominated headlines as of late because of the controversy over release of the partisan GOP memo he helped put together. The memo was hyped as a scathing and embarrassing document that revealed abuse by the Justice Department and the FBI in their obtaining of a FISA warrant for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Instead, the memo was essentially a dud, but Nunes has suggested recently that more memos will soon be released, and will supposedly reveal further abuses by several U.S. agencies. In all, the release of Nunes' partisan memo only raised more questions than it did provide any answers.

Still, Nunes has continued to assert the memo as truth, and has been a prominent ally of President Donald Trump, specifically when it comes to the ongoing Russia investigation. At every turn, despite his own recusal, Nunes has attempted to derail special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with the Russian government. Trump has even claimed Nunes' memo "vindicated" him in the Russia probe. Of course, Trump has also refused to declassify the rebuttal memo authored by Democrats, at least until portions are changed. He said it was "very political" and "long."

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Ironically, Nunes has spent much of his own time lecturing others about fake news, even as Trump supporters have often been the largest promulgators of it.

 


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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