Rep. Tom Garrett Jr. (R-VA) on Monday likened the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections to President Donald Trump’s racist “birtherism” campaign to convince Americans that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen.
“This Russia investigation is essentially birtherism,” Garrett told CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “Imagine if there was a politically funded investigation of President Obama’s place of birth where the levers of power were leveraged.”
“Do you think Russia didn’t meddle?” Keilar asked. “Is that why you mean it’s birtherism?”
“The question is what the American government does to its own people against the Fourth Amendment right to privacy,” Garrett replied.
The lawmaker called on Congress to release classified documents that we prepared when the FBI requested surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
“Watergate was a bunch of political hacks [but] these are employees of the federal government,” he opined. “And so what’s at stake here isn’t Republican or Democrat, it’s about who we are as a country.”
Keilar, however, seemed puzzled by the comparison to birtherism.
“Why do you equate the two?” she asked. “I mean, President Obama was born in the United States and when you look at this investigation, one, Russia meddled in the election and then there were some contacts between either associates or members of the Trump campaign with Kremlin-backed Russians.”
“I guess I don’t understand why you’re equating birtherism, which by the way was really spearheaded by President Trump, with this Russia investigation that is spearheaded right now by Robert Mueller,” Keilar said.
For his part, Garrett insisted that it was unfair to criticize the Trump campaign for meeting Russians.
“Any contact then becomes the smoking gun?” Garrett complained. “That’s ridiculous. So, the crazy people who made aspersions against President Obama didn’t have the wight of the federal government being brought to bear to sort of flesh out those aspersions.”
Watch the video below from CNN.
White House turmoil as Trump aides Mnuchin and Navarro get in ‘knockdown, drag-out’ yelling match: report
According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.
One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.
The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.
WATCH: CNN uses video to bust Trump for lying and stealing credit for veterans program signed by Obama
Reacting to Donald Trump's abrupt departure from his Saturday press conference after he was pressed by a CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid for lying and taking credit for a veterans bill signed into law by former President Barack Obama, CNN's Victor Blackwell shared clips of the former president announcing the signing in 2014 and Trump attempting to steal credit yesterday.
According to Blackwell, "One of President Trump's go-to lies is his role in passing Veterans Choice. You saw it at the end of the news conference when he walked away. Well that was when he was faced with a question why he said that he passed Choice and Accountability for the V.A."
Nagasaki marks 75 years since atomic bombing
The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Sunday commemorated the 75th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with its mayor and the head of the United Nations warning against a nuclear arms race.
Nagasaki was flattened in an atomic inferno three days after Hiroshima -- twin nuclear attacks that rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons.
Survivors, their relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended a remembrance ceremony in Nagasaki where they called for world peace.
Participants offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the time the second and last nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city.