FRESNO (AP) — The California congressman heading an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election avoided a crowd of angry protesters in a visit home.

Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke Friday to the Ag Lenders Society at a private gathering in Fresno. He was ushered in and out of the building, also avoiding the media.

About 300 people protested on the sidewalk outside with signs saying Nunes is more interested in protecting President Donald Trump than them.

Nunes is facing intense criticism for announcing he had evidence showing President Donald Trump’s communications were collected during the presidential election and briefing Trump before telling fellow committee members.

Guests who attended the luncheon say the talk mostly focused on water but the Russian investigation came up at least once.

Organizers declined to allow reporters inside the event, and Nunes ducked inside through a back door.

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