"But I just want to say, one of the things you can do, if you're healthy, you and your family, is a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, probably you can come in, come in. "
"What I said is you have empty restaurants. You can walk through the drive through, you can take take-out. It's a great place to go. The media freaks can do [what] they want. "
So now, here are the highlights of what Nunes told Appleton about the controversy (the fat thing throughout is mine):
* "There were probably about 50 stories from all the major subjects, OK? Across the spectrum. Across the United States. I'm flattered, but don't lie. Don't say I asked people to go out to bars and drink and go to the disco and what other nonsense they did. What I'm trying to do and these 50 morons, they're dangerous, Ray, they're really dangerous. "
* "If this virus really spreads as some say it is, we have no data on it, But if it's spreading, imagine how much it is spreading across the country right now with hundreds and hundreds of hundreds of people going into grocery stores, OK? "
* "Had geniuses in the media actually listened to what I said on Sunday, instead of jumping to it and doing things that I asked people to go full on bars, OK? "
* "So, the media is absolutely responsible for this. But you shouldn't think the media is the media, OK? 90% of them work for the Democrats, they work for the left. And you know why you would be so aware of what I'm saying "Hey, I'm flattered, great, will you write about me? It's great. And as you know, Ray, and they know, if you defame or defame me, you see me in court."
During the interview, Nunes again insists that he didn't say what he said (reminder: "If you're healthy, you and your family are, it's a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, you probably can you come in, get in easily "), direct questions about" the virus is really spreading as some people say it is, "claims, with zero evidence, that 90% of the media" works for Democrats "and, in a remarkable coup d'état, threatens the press with legal action "if you defame me or defame me."
Like I said, it's really something. And that's proof of the influence of Trump's style and approach on the broader Republican Party. Nunes said a dumb thing. Which is fine – and frankly understandable given how quickly the federal guidance on how to curb coronavirus changes.
Instead of just saying something like "I miss the voices," Nunes instead goes to Hannity's show – a very friendly environment for him – and doubles down, trying to make this a kind of media story instead of just one about him who says wrong things.
And then, already deeply denied, Nunes does this radio interview where he is allowed to make all sorts of wild accusations and rewrite history without pushback.
Not good. Not at all.