Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on Friday that the Kremlin got the message that Donald Trump welcomed their help on the election.
“Today’s report that a former Russian counter-intelligence officer was also present during the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, if accurate, adds another deeply disturbing fact about this secret meeting,” Schiff wrote in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA.
Schiff characterized the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russians as a portrait of “consistent “dissembling and deceit.”
“Donald Trump, Jr.’s denial of any such meetings, his misleading initial representation that it dealt only with adoptions — a statement evidently approved by the White House — and his later admission that the whole purpose of taking the meeting was to receive the support of the Russian government in the form of damaging information about Hillary Clinton paint a portrait of consistent dissembling and deceit when it comes to the campaign’s meetings with Russian officials and intermediaries.”
Schiff said that Kushner having to amend his security clearance forms and only recently acknowledging this troubling meeting should cause “his clearance to be reviewed — and if he was not perfectly candid — immediately revoked.”
The Kremlin got the message, Schiff charged. “Finally, whether the additional party or parties present during the meeting with these top Trump campaign personnel at the time Donald Trump had seized the nomination were connected directly with Russian intelligence or not, it is clear the Kremlin got the message that Donald Trump welcomed the help of the Russian government in providing dirt on Hillary Clinton.”
“This was true not only because Donald Jr. said he would love such help, and, even if we are to believe his account of the meeting, expressed great dismay that he didn’t receive the damaging information he was promised, but also because candidate Trump himself made very clear his desire that the Russian government hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying they would be richly rewarded. Indeed that has proved all too true.”
Schiff was a top notch prosecutor. He understands the value of building a case, and has used the fact that Donald Trump asked the Russians to hack Clinton during a taped rally and promising they would be rewarded as proof that the Trump campaign was open for business with the hostile foreign power.
The Trump campaign might have been able to say Trump himself didn’t know or wasn’t open to taking (illegal) help from a foreign power, but Trump himself put that to rest.
Trump’s statements on Twitter and during the campaign paint a consistent picture of a man who thinks he is above the law. A man who was willing to do anything, including selling his own country out, to win an election for a job he doesn’t seem too keen on actually doing.
Days ago, Schiff said Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer was in “violation of oaths of citizenship.”