House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on Sunday called on top intelligence officers to step down if President Donald Trump refuses to accept their assessment that the Russian government is interfering in U.S. elections.
In an interview on Fox News, guest host Bret Baier asked Gowdy why Trump continues to suggest that Russia may not have been responsible for the 2016 election attack, even as the president claims that he accepts the intelligence community’s assessment about the Kremlin’s role.
Gowdy said that he had watched Trump’s press conference with Putin and concluded that Trump had told a “lie” when he said that Russia most likely did not interfere in the 2016 election, a claim that Trump later walked back.
“I can tell you this, Brett, the president has access to every bit of evidence,” Gowdy explained. “Even more than those of us on House Intelligence [Committee]. He has access to Pompeo and Chris Wray and Dan Coats and Nikki Haley. The evidence is overwhelming.”
The committee chairman went on to say that Trump intelligence officials should resign if the president continues to disregard their advice.
“It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016, so the president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisors need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration,” Gowdy said. “But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming and the president needs to say that and act like it.”
“We got a classified briefing this week,” Gowdy explained “There is no way you can listen to the evidence and not conclude, not that the Democrats were the victims, but the United States of America with the victims. We were the victims of what Russia did in 2016.”
Baier pointed out that Trump had extended an invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Washington, D.C. before informing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
“I do think it strange. I will also say this,” Gowdy opined. “I think that the United States of America sometimes has to meet with people that we don’t have anything in common with… This country is different. We do things differently. We set the standard for the rest of the world. The fact that we have to talk to you about Syria or other matters is very different from issuing an invitation. This should be reserved.”
Before concluding the interview, Baier asked Gowdy about the news that a FISA warrant accuses former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page of conspiring with the Russian government.
“My take is that Carter Page is more like Inspector Gadget then he is Jason Bourne or James Bond,” Gowdy quipped. “I’m sure he’s been on the FBI’s radar for a long time, well before 2016. Here’s what we will never know, we will never know whether or not the FBI had enough without the [Steele] dossier, the DNC-funded dossier because they included it and everyone who reads this FISA application sees the amount of reliance they placed on this product funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC.”
Watch the video below from Fox News.