Trump Suggests Awarding Medal of Freedom for California Rep. Devin Nunes, Who Has Been Critical of DOJ

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) passes through a hallway at the U.S. Capitol after a vote on June 21, 2018. (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) passes through a hallway at the U.S. Capitol after a vote on June 21, 2018. (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Thursday that Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican who’s a major critic of the Justice Department, might deserve the top honor he could bestow on any civilian.

“If this all turns out like everyone thinks it will, Devin Nunes should get the Medal of Honor,” Trump said on “Fox and Friends.”

He continued and corrected himself to say the Medal of Freedom, a civilian award, instead of the Medal of Honor, the top military award.

“What he’s gone through and his bravery, he should get a very important medal,” Trump said. “Maybe we’ll call it the Medal of Freedom because we actually give them — they’re high awards for civilians, and he’s done amazing.”

The President’s comment came as he spoke at length on his preferred morning news show and railed against the Justice Department and former FBI Director James Comey.

Nunes, a Trump supporter, is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Following allegations about his contact with the White House, Nunes announced last year that he would step aside from his committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but he remained a prominent Trump ally in the House and a top critic of the Justice Department’s work in 2016 on through the special counsel investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Despite the recusal, Nunes continued to play a role in the panel’s investigation and was behind the creation and release of a GOP memo, with Trump’s approval, discrediting the initial FBI probe into Trump and Russia. In April, his committee released a report where the GOP members of the committee said they found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia and disputed the intelligence community’s assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to help elect Trump in 2016.

In his comments on Thursday, Trump praised Nunes for his work and name-checked Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio, two Republicans who have clashed with the Justice Department and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“All of these people, what they go through, and they’re right, and they can’t understand why they’re being stymied at so many different levels,” Trump said.