Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, spent the majority of his opening statement at Tuesday's impeachment hearing trying to build a case that the media are the "furiously smearing and libeling" "puppets" of the Democrats, citing what he said was similarly breathless and similarly wrong reporting on Russian collusion. 

Nunes said the mainstream media's coverage of impeachment is the sort of fake news that the American people have come to recognize and are now rejecting.  

Related: Nunes Says Media 'Hacks' Aiding Attempt to Overthrow Trump

Nunes said the media's reporting on the impeachment hearings was "the same preposterous reporting" they proffered for three years on the "Russia hoax." He read off headlines from that earlier coverage from CNN, the New York Times and other outlets the President has labeled fake news, saying they had all turned out to be false. 

"There was no objectivity or fairness in the media's Russia stories, just a fevered rush to tarnish and remove a President who refuses to pretend that the media are something different from what they really are, puppets of the Democratic party." 

He said the media's "biased misreporting" on the "Russia hoax" lost the confidence of millions and by "refusing to acknowledge how badly they botched the story," they learned no lessons and are simply trying to stoke partisan frenzy. 

He said the media are trying to "smother" and "dismiss" some key questions about the relationship between the Democrats and the whistleblower concerned about the call between the President and the new Ukrainian president that included Trump's request for investigations of the Bidens. 

Tuesday's (Nov. 19) hearing was with two witnesses, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who was detailed to the White House to, in part, coordinate Ukraine policy, and Jennifer Williams, currently detailed to the Office of the Vice President, responsible for issues related to Europe and Eurasia. 

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