Intel member drops Russia truthbomb: There's 'circumstantial evidence of collusion, direct evidence of deception'
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Meet the Press -- screengrab

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: