Exclusive—Rep. Mark Amodei Does Not Support Impeachment Inquiry Despite Fake News Claims

Republican Rep. Mark Amodei addresses a joint session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, Nev., on Monay, March 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
AP Photo/Cathleen Allison

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Nevada’s only Republican U.S. House member, confirmed to Breitbart News on Saturday afternoon in an exclusive phone interview that media and leftist claims that he supports an “impeachment inquiry” are inaccurate: he does not support an “impeachment inquiry” into President Donald Trump.

“Right,” Amodei told Breitbart News when asked to confirm he does not support an impeachment inquiry that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are now conducting into President Trump.

“You’re sitting there going wow, look at this guy’s history,” Amodei said in an exclusive interview on Saturday. “I’m not a household name or anything like that, so you think I just lost my mind one day and ate some loco weed and called all the Nevada people in and said, ‘Here we go’? I guess the reason I’m not phenomenally agitated or whatever is is quite frankly I think that Humberto Sanchez’s article was fair and accurate. There’s confusion throughout the nation between what we did with the UC to send it to the appropriate committees, which the White House supports, and what Pelosi is doing. So it would certainly be news if that’s what I was saying I was in favor of. We got into some discussions about ‘what ifs’ and it’s like hey, let the committees do their work and see where it leads. Wherever it leads, it leads—let the chips fall where they may. But how you get from that discussion in context to ‘Oh my god he supports Pelosi’s thing’ is not true.”

What he does support is what every other member of the House of Representatives and the Senate—in addition to the White House—supports, which is a resolution that passed both the House and Senate unanimously with White House backing earlier this week calling for the so-called “whistleblower complaint” and other information to be transmitted to the relevant congressional committees. In the House, that was H. Res 576. It passed the House 421-0. Amodei told Breitbart News that he has been misquoted by many in the national media who say that means he supports an “impeachment inquiry,” but that he does not support one.

“No,” Amodei again told Breitbart News when asked if he supports what Pelosi and Democrats are doing in what they call an “impeachment inquiry” through the various House committees including the Intelligence, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, and other committees.

Several national media outlets have raced Amodei’s comments out into the public sphere to use them to  create the appearance of dissent in GOP ranks when it comes to Pelosi’s “impeachment inquiry” of the president. Among them are the New York Times, MSNBC, CBS News, and several others who claim Amodei became the first Republican to support an “impeachment inquiry” of Trump. But Amodei, in a lengthy interview with Breitbart News on Saturday afternoon, confirmed that no he does not support an “impeachment inquiry” of Trump and in fact does not have a position that is different from the White House or other Republicans in Congress at this point.

The way this all started was Amodei, in the interest of transparency with his local in-state media, held a press call on Friday to explain where he was on all of the news this week in Washington.

“We did this news conference at the end of the week via telephone because quite frankly I hadn’t said much about it,” Amodei told Breitbart News. “Some of the Nevada outlets were like hey, so we said here’s the conference call-in let’s do a call. We did a conference call. Tt lasted about 40 minutes; I’m sure there are tapes of it from people who participated. So it’s like hey, you can listen to the tapes to form your own opinion. But I don’t think it was a close call throughout the 40 minutes, it was that I support the resolution that came through UC [unanimous consent] in the Senate, I support the resolution that we did in the House earlier in the week that basically got rid of all the Pelosi poison-pill stuff and they changed it to mirror the Senate wording exactly. The White House supports it. I support it too. I’m a process guy, let’s send it to the committees and see what it’s all about. So you’re like what the heck are you talking about for ‘it’? ‘It’ is all this recent stuff for transcripts and quid pro quo and Ukraine and all that other sort of stuff—that’s it. I support this thing that has 535 other votes and the White House’s support.”

The Nevada Independent published an article about it all. It explained the congressman’s position on it, and he has no issue with that article. What he does have an issue with is other people using it to claim he supports an “impeachment inquiry” like what Pelosi is doing when he does not support any such thing—and has no different position from the rest of the Republicans in the House.

An “impeachment inquiry” is what Pelosi has announced the Democrats are doing—something most Democrats have announced they agree with—not the bipartisan, unanimously-backed oversight investigations that are perfunctory and normal in Washington as part of the unanimous resolutions.

Also, Amodei, on both Wednesday and Friday before Congress broke for the two-week recess it is currently on, voted with all the Republicans in the House in favor of a resolution from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to express disapproval with the way in which Pelosi had launched Democrats’ impeachment proceedings against Trump. All the Democrats voted against it.

Nonetheless, the New York Times added him to a column in a list it is keeping, saying he is the first Republican to support an “impeachment inquiry.” Several others in national media have pushed the same inaccuracy, which all forced Amodei to issue a statement on Friday night further clarifying he is not in favor of impeachment of Trump and explaining the investigations. But many in media have still not corrected their inaccurate claims he supports an “impeachment inquiry,” to the point where Amodei has even directed his staff to contact the New York Times and pull him out of the list of members supporting an “impeachment inquiry.”

“We asked them to take it down out of the column,” Amodei told Breitbart News. “We gave them a real simple ask this morning. They got columns on who’s in, who’s out, et cetera. I had my comms person who you’ve been talking to send them an email and say, ‘Hey this is not accurate, please take him out of that column.’ I’m shocked she’s gotten crickets so far, which I expect she will continue to get. But when you say how I do I feel about the New York Times thing, quite frankly, after the Kavanaugh stuff and some of the other stuff recently it’s like—if it were like the old days, and I’m 61 so you can attach to that whatever meaning you want, the New York Times came out and said you were whatever that was usually pretty strong. But in these times, the fact that the New York Times says quite frankly means ‘better check further.’”

The Times has not backed down, and continues to—even though it is aware the inclusion of Amodei in this column is inaccurate—keep him included in it. Multiple inquiries from Breitbart News to New York Times spokeswomen Eileen Murphy and Danielle Rhoades-Ha have not been returned, but both—as well as newspaper editorial staff—are aware Amodei does not support an “impeachment inquiry,” and still the newspaper will not correct the error.

Amodei’s staff has asked the Times multiple times to correct the inaccuracy, but its staff refuses to do so, even though the Times knows it is not correct.

For Amodei, he’s not even that upset or surprised given the hyper-charged political atmosphere and the media’s transparent hatred of Trump. He just wishes the national media would have done a little more research before getting this story so badly wrong by falsely saying he supports an impeachment inquiry into Trump. He noted that when the Access Hollywood tapes came out in the 2016 election, he actually publicly defended Trump—and has been a longtime supporter of the president and the White House.

“I’m okay with the people who are highly charged and hyper emotional and all that stuff—it’s been that way for a long time,” Amodei said. “The sad part about all this is when that is the sole thing that’s focused on instead of the facts, which by the way are not buried here. It would be news, because here is a guy who has really been a pretty loyal soldier and has supported the White House back to before they were the White House, when the Billy Bush tapes came out. I came out and basically said, ‘hey,’ I wrote a letter then that everybody published. So it would absolutely be news if that guy said, ‘you know what? I want to be with Democrats in the House on this thing.’ You see how naive I am, I figured everyone would ask a couple questions. Nothing. Basically nothing. Just off to the races and they think I have lost my mind—or I guess depending on your view, found my mind.”

While the New York Times and several others got it wrong, not everyone did. The congressman said that he read the original Breitbart News account of it, and thanked this outlet for getting it correct. Breitbart News did not, like much of the rest of the media, jump out and publish the inaccurate claims that Amodei had joined calls for an “impeachment inquiry” but instead reached out to his office to check and got confirmation that he did not. Then Breitbart News accurately reported that the rest of the media had printed fake news, and Amodei was not supporting impeachment or an impeachment inquiry.

“When it’s like actually, if you really care about the news conference that he basically set up to be open with my media in my state, it’s like wow. And listen, I think they did a decent job. I don’t think anybody in my state hatcheted me. It’s incredible that folks who don’t even know who I am didn’t even bother to check out a few things. But you guys did—you guys ran an article that said, ‘This is fake news.’ I don’t know what you call it, but it isn’t what I said in the thing. Everyone else who wrote about it, they didn’t write it in their articles. Were they asleep on the call just snoring?”

Only one other reporter, Politico’s Kyle Cheney, did not falsely jump to the conclusion that Amodei was supporting an impeachment inquiry.

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