Devin Nunes is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which means he's in charge of investigating President Trump's evidence-free allegation that President Barack Obama wiretapped his offices.

But Nunes doesn't seem particularly worried that the current president accused the former president of a crime. Echoing so many Republican defences of Trump's tweets, he suggested on Tuesday that Trump's allegation simply shouldn't be taken at face value.

Here's what Nunes said:

"The president is a neophyte to politics. He's been doing this a little over a year. And I think a lot of the things that he says, you guys sometimes take literally. Sometimes he doesn't have 27 lawyers and staff looking at what he does - which is, I think, at times refreshing and at times can also lead us to have to be sitting at a press conference like this, answering questions that you guys are asking. But at the end of the day, I think tweets are a very transparent way for a politician of any rank to communicate with their constituents. So I don't think we should attack the president for tweeting."

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There are a couple straw men here. One is the idea that Trump needs "27 lawyers" reading his tweets before they go out. The implication is that Trump didn't really know what he was saying would be a big deal.

But Trump clearly recognised the magnitude of it. He even said in the tweets that it would constitute a "Nixon/Watergate"-esque scandal.