Jason Zengerle, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the political correspondent for GQ, has written an extensive profile on Tulare Congressman Devin Nunes.
Though Nunes “refused multiple interview requests” by Zengerle, the reporter stitched together a remarkable and enlightening piece using dozens of sources — named and anonymous.
Story Begins on the Family Farm
The profile goes deep into Nunes’ background. It recounts his early days on the family’s dairy farm and beginnings in politics.
Then it moves on to his ascent in the House of Representatives under the mentorship of John Boehner, his obsession with the Azores and expanding the U.S. military presence there, the formation of his tight friendship with President Donald Trump and his polarizing chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.
Nunes’ Dominant Traits
Zengerle hones in on three of Nunes’ strongest traits: loyalty, a passion for conspiracy theories and a willingness to engage in all-out political brawls.
The author quotes Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) saying of Nunes:
“When Devin’s all in, he’s all in. And when he is on your side, he is on your side. If there was a bar fight going on and Dev walked into the bar and he saw one of his friends, he would immediately get in on the side of his friend. And when it was over and they were walking out, then he’d say, ‘What was that all about?’ ”
Nunes Is the GOP’s ‘Rock Star’
Zengerle quotes Republicans who describe Nunes as having rock-star status inside the GOP — particularly among the party’s far-right conservatives with whom he used to joust.
He writes that “the Russia brouhaha has elevated Nunes far beyond the Central Valley. Once considered the scourge of the Tea Party, he is now viewed as a rock star by the activist Republican base across the country. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House G.O.P., uses him in its fund-raising emails. And among his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill, he has never been more popular — so much so that more than one prominent Republican with whom I spoke predicted that Nunes is on track to one day become the top Republican on the all-powerful Ways and Means Committee.”
Jason Zengerle has written an extensive profile of Rep. Devin Nunes
In addition, Zengerle writes that “the American Conservative Union presented Nunes with its Defender of Freedom Award for ‘concerted courage, standing up for truth and freedom under intense duress.’ When Nunes accepted the award, he was greeted with cries of ‘We love you, Devin!’ His familiar grimace gave way to a broad smile.”
Author Predicts Nunes’ Victory in November
Of Nunes’ primary battle and expected November showdown against Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz, Zengerle opines that “His congressional district is so sufficiently red that despite his Democratic challenger’s multiple appearances on MSNBC, his seat should be safe this November, even in what’s shaping up to be a strong Democratic year.”
This is just a taste of an excellent deep dive into Nunes. You can read “How Devin Nunes Turned the House Intelligence Committee Inside Out” at this link.