Former CIA officer Phil Mudd warned that President Donald Trump’s son Donald Jr. has a larger problem than merely meeting with yet another Russian contact: he may have lied to investigators.
“You’re talking about the substance of what happened,” Mudd began in a Monday morning CNN panel. “Having been at the FBI, there’s another piece I find fascinating, lying to a federal officer. The collusion piece I think will be difficult. I think it’s going to be tough.”
Mudd explained to the “New Day” panel that investigators are now looking at phone and e-mail contacts among each of these people and now the stories aren’t matching.
“If you’re a federal investigator, you’re collating stories and seeing now a year later that the stories don’t line up,” Mudd continued. “When the stories don’t line up, you have a simple question, did they tell the truth during the enter initial interviews? If not, that’s a federal violation, a 1001 charge. These guys are vulnerable to a charge from the special counsel Robert Mueller if they didn’t tell the truth.”
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who contributed to the reporting on the Sunday night story explained that there is no evidence that Trump lied to investigators, only that we know they lied to reporters.
The Trumps explain that they were merely doing opposition research on Hillary Clinton and that the Russian lawyer said that there was information.
“Obviously all campaigns do opposition research on their rivals. What makes this different?” co-host Alisyn Camerota asked Daily Beast editor John Avlon.
“They’re usually not outsourced to a hostile foreign power,” Avlon replied. “You can’t say that loudly enough. I’ve participated in campaigns. It’s perfectly normal to do opposition research. It’s totally abnormal to have foreign governments, particularly Russia at a time when they’re not only trying to hack our election we find out subsequently on this campaign’s behalf, have so many connections with this campaign, the extended family, so to speak, and to have them be denied. I mean, just look at the cadence of this reporting: ‘never met with Russians in the context of this campaign.’ Earlier this weekend it was purely about adoption, I mean, this is as close as you can get to apple pie in a conversation — to maybe we were shopping information — negative information about Hillary Clinton. That’s a big deal. It also just one more example of stories of the Trump senior staff not lining up with reality.”
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes wrote in a Sunday evening tweet that there is now a growing list of Trump associates who have given on-the-record or under-oath falsehoods about meeting with Russians over the course of the last year. That list includes Vice President Mike Pence, former national security council head retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, senior White House aide Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr.
Fox News has spent Monday denying that the meeting resulted in anything “meaningful,” however, the meeting was the first in a series of meeting, which showed Russians that the campaign was willing to make a deal.
The Trump legal team said that they didn’t know who Trump Jr. and former campaign chair Paul Mannafort was meeting with.
Watch the full discussion below: