Meghan McCain complained that special counsel Robert Mueller didn't offer "smoking gun" proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- but Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) set her straight.
The former FBI director testified at length Wednesday before two House panels, and Schiff walked him through his findings that Russia had offered to help elect Donald Trump -- whose family members and other associates accepted that help and actively promoted emails stolen by Kremlin operatives, and then lied to cover up those efforts.
"Congressman," McCain said, "you have claimed for years now you have a smoking gun of evidence of collusion. Your quote is, 'ample evidence of collusion.' You said that, but Robert Mueller and his investigation found that there was no collusion. So can you share with us right here, right now on 'The View,' the evidence that you have and explain why Mueller was wrong yesterday?"
The California Democrat then patiently walked McCain through the same evidence that Mueller had confirmed was accurate during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that Schiff leads.
"Well, first of all, Mueller wasn't wrong," Schiff said. "He started out by saying we didn't address the issue of collusion."
McCain immediately interrupted to challenge Schiff's claims.
"What's your evidence?" she said. "You've been saying that on TV for years."
Schiff was undeterred, and continued to lay out his case.
"I will tell you," he said, "and we have also been saying that the evidence is in plain sight, not hidden anywhere, and we went through that evidence. The Russians offered dirt on Hillary Clinton in writing and sent it to Don Jr., and Don Jr.'s response was in writing and said, as for your offer of foreign illegal help, I would love it. He accepted the offer."
"They set up a furtherance of that, and they lied about it," Schiff continued. "You have an offering of illegal help, an acceptance of that, an overt act in furtherance of that conspiracy. That is, I think, by any rational American's expectation is the personification of collusion."
"Now Bob Mueller had a different question he needed to analyze, which is, can I prove each of the elements of the crime of conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt?" he added. "As you know, well before the Mueller report I was pointing out to the public, there is a difference between what we understand is collusion and whether you can prove all the elements of crime."
McCain interrupted again and asked whether Mueller's testimony was a win for Democrats, but Schiff didn't take the bait.
"You know, I would consider it a win for the American people that they got to hear from the person who did the investigation," he said. "They got to hear unfiltered by anybody else, what he found, you know, for the former director of the FBI, and the special counsel, to say effectively the president acted immorally, unethically, unpatriotically and likely in a criminal fashion, the American people needed to hear. If you are measuring whether this is a success in terms of whether it brings us closer to impeachment or not, that was not my object with wanting him to come in."