WASHINGTON, D.C. — California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, who was one of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent loyalists in Congress, is leaving the House at the end of this year to join Trump’s new media company.
A statement from the Trump Media & Technology group said Nunes would serve as chief executive officer, beginning in January 2022. The company is preparing to launch a social media platform intended to rival competitors, called “TRUTH Social.”
“Devin understands that we must stop the liberal media and Big Tech from destroying the freedoms that make America great,” Trump said in a statement.
Nunes, 48, said in a statement: “The time has come to reopen the Internet and allow for the free flow of ideas and expression without censorship. The United States of America made the dream of the Internet a reality and it will be an American company that restores the dream.”
Trump talked up the hire when he called into his former press secretary’s show on the conservative Newsmax channel Monday evening.
“Devin is a fantastic guy. I think that he will do an incredible job,” Trump told Sean Spicer. “We’re proud of him. And I think it’s got a chance of being a very important day.”
Nunes also is a harsh critic of mainstream media firms. He sued CNN and Twitter for defamation, among other companies, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars. Both cases were ultimately dismissed by judges.
Trump announced the launch of his media company in October. The company says its plans include a Twitter-style social media app, as well as a subscription-based video streaming service that will feature entertainment programming, news and podcasts. Trump is listed as the company’s chair.
Trump’s media company and Digital World Acquisition announced over the weekend they had agreements for $1 billion in capital from institutional investors.
Nunes is the top Republican on the House intelligence committee and was the panel’s chairman before Democrats won the majority in 2018.
Nunes became one of Trump’s most forceful defenders in Congress. In early 2017, he visited the White House, reviewed documents there and then held a press conference saying that communications involving Trump associates had been swept up by U.S. spy agencies and were mishandled by former President Barack Obama’s administration. After an uproar, the House Ethics Committee said it would investigate the visit and determine whether he had leaked classified information.
The ethics panel cleared Nunes a year later.
After a contentious investigation that Democrats claimed was biased in Trump’s favor, the Intelligence committee found that Russia interfered in the election but that there was no evidence of coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Nunes was also in the spotlight as he ardently defended Trump through Democrats’ 2019 impeachment inquiry, which was led by Schiff and the intelligence panel.
In early 2021, Trump awarded Nunes the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In a statement, the White House credited Nunes with uncovering “the greatest scandal in American history,” referencing Nunes’ efforts to discredit the Russia investigation.
In a statement, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called Nunes an “American patriot” said there is no person “better … prepared to compete head-to-head and lead an alternative to the Big Tech and big media cartel that has carried water for the Democrat Party for years.”