Rep. Ted Lieu says that the meeting between the Trump campaign and a Russian operative to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton was "definitely evidence of collusion" between the campaign and a foreign power.
Donald Trump, Jr.'s clandestine meeting with a Russian operative while in pursuit of information to damage Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is "definitely evidence of collusion," according to Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).
Donald Trump's eldest son, along with former campaign manager Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner, met with a Kremlin-connected Russian attorney who had promised to give them secret information that would give them an advantage over the Clinton campaign.
The Trump team first claimed they hadn't spoken to the Russians at all. Then Trump Jr. lied and claimed the meeting was about adoptions, not the campaign. The Trump team's story has continued to evolve, however, with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway admitting Monday morning that the meeting did take place, but trying to dismiss it because "no meaningful information was received."
In an interview with Los Angeles' ABC 7, Lieu — who has been a strong critic of Trump and his campaign's possible collusion with Russia — said the meeting was "definitely evidence of collusion." He said it showed that special counsel Robert Mueller should conduct interviews with Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner as part of his investigation into the coverup of Trump's Russia connection.
.@tedlieu says @DonaldJTrumpJr meeting with a Russian lawyer is "evidence of collusion."
Full interview: https://t.co/VaTg9Tfgpb pic.twitter.com/YT1HHgTvTL
— Elex Michaelson (@abc7elex) July 10, 2017
LIEU: We have a highly disturbing pattern of Trump administration officials saying that there are no meetings with the Russians, and then we have lots of meetings with the Russians. And with this particular meeting, it is highly troubling that Donald Trump Jr. may have met with a Russian-backed lawyer because he wanted to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
MICHAELSON: In your view, is this proof of collusion?
LIEU: This is definitely evidence of collusion, which is why I think special counsel Mueller needs to call in Donald Trump, Jr. for an interview, as well as Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, both of whom were also at this meeting.
MICHAELSON: How does this change the nature of the special counsel investigation?
LIEU: It adds additional fuel to the fire.
There is ample evidence to indicate that the Trump campaign, and possibly Trump himself, directly colluded with the Russian government in the lead up to the election. Legal experts have already noted that these actions are in violation of the law.
Republican attempts to downplay these actions do not take into consideration the detail and gravity of what Trump's team did, nor do they appropriately address what should be done in response.
Collusion occurred between a foreign power and a presidential campaign, and the trail leads right to Donald Trump.