Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of the Senate Intelligence Committee ripped into Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday after the Speaker said there is “no evidence” that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
The Democrat responded by giving the speaker a quick fact check and listed all the publicly reported evidence that indicates the Trump campaign did, in fact, coordinate with Russia.
Sen. Warner pointed to the shady behavior of Trump and his associates and asked TV viewers “whether these are the actions of somebody who’s got nothing to hide.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 8, 2018
Transcript of Warner’s response to Speaker Ryan:
I respectfully disagree strongly with the speaker. Let’s just talk about what’s out in the public domain. The Mueller investigation has brought 14, 15 indictments. Four guilty pleas. The indictments include the president’s campaign manager. We’ve got one of the individuals, Mr. Papadopoulos, who clearly the Russians reached out to with information that was harmful to the Clinton campaign and he’s already pled guilty. There was a, I think it was two years ago today where there was the infamous Trump Tower meeting where Russian agents were brought in to meet with Trump Jr., Kushner, the campaign manager, with the idea of bringing dirt on Hillary Clinton. The president himself, a week after that meeting, went on national TV and basically said ‘Hey, if you’ve got dirt on Hillary Clinton, why don’t you just bring it out?’ And you then had the president go ahead and basically doctor a statement about the content of that meeting. So just those items you show an awful lot of intent to collude from the Russians and you obviously see from Donald Trump Jr.’s own e-mail traffic that he was anxious to have that information. … This whole fabrication about planting a spy by the FBI which even his Republican colleagues have acknowledged the FBI acted totally appropriately. I just would ask your listening and viewing audience whether these are the actions of somebody who’s got nothing to hide.
Trump is drowning in evidence of Russian collusion
Despite Speaker Ryan’s bogus assertion that there is “no evidence” of Trump-Russia collusion, there were a series of (often secret) contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
As Sen. Warner noted, the most infamous example was the Trump Tower meeting during the campaign in which Russian agents met with key campaign officials, including Don Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. It was later revealed that Trump concocted a false statement to cover up what that meeting was about, which was to get damning intel on Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s team showed a pattern of behavior of meeting with Russians during the campaign and covering up those contacts until they were exposed by the press or investigators.
As the Democratic senator pointed out, these are not the actions of people who have done nothing wrong – quite the contrary, in fact.
The spineless Speaker of the House can continue to bury his head in the sand and provide cover for this president, but no one is buying it. Especially not Robert Mueller.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.