Appearing on NBC’s Meet The Press, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said he sees “circumstantial evidence of collusion” between staffers in President Donald Trump’s campaign staff and Russian nationals.
Despite denials from the White House, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) defended looking into accusations that Trump operatives were in contact with Russian operatives.
While James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, said two weeks ago that no evidence exists that he was aware of, Schiff said that is not the case.
“I was surprised to see Director Clapper say that because I don’t think you can make that claim categorically as he did,” Schiff told NBC host Chuck Todd. “I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that’s where we begin the investigation.”
“There is certainly enough for us to conduct an investigation,” he continued. “The American people have a right to know and in order to defend ourselves, we need to know whether the circumstantial evidence of collusion and direct evidence of deception is indicative of more.”
Watch the video below via NBC:
Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore
Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.
But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:
In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib
Hope Hicks called Trump’s plan for Jeff Sessions ‘odd’ — but White House lawyers blocked her from elaborating why
By all accounts, ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was not particularly forthcoming in her interview with the House Judiciary Committee — but according to the 273-page transcript of the closed-door hearing released on Thursday, she did begin to discuss a key point at which President Donald Trump potentially obstructed justice — until White House lawyers sitting with her intervened.
CNN's Manu Raju explained the details to Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."
"She did answer some questions about her time in the campaign season, and at one point did make one reference to something that later became a dispute," said Raju. "She was asked about the details in the Mueller report in which the president tried to get Jeff Sessions, the then-Attorney General, to un-recuse himself, to go back and oversee the Russia investigation after he had stepped aside from overseeing it."
Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.
FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.
"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.