GOP Senate intel chair suggests Russians were colluding with themselves


Sen. Richard Burr apparently does not know what the word "collusion" actually means.

The House Intelligence Committee's Republican majority claims there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. They even deny there was any attempt by Russia to help Trump specifically. And Republican Senate intelligence chair Richard Burr is twisting himself in knots trying to make his conclusion line up with that.

Asked by CNN's Manu Raju whether he was aware of evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, Burr said that he was not.

And in his view, if there was collusion, "It's collusion on [the] part of the Russians, not the Trump camp."

In other words, Burr is apparently suggesting that the Russians colluded with themselves.

This flies in the face of not just logic, but the literal defintion of the word "collusion." 

And there is already clear, publicly known potential evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump associates. There was the infamous meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. And the recent revelation that Erik Prince's trip to Seychelles focused on establishing a secret backchannel with the Kremlin. Both of these incidents are among those under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Burr and House intel chair Devin Nunes' attempts to quash the investigations follow a concerted, months-long attempt to discredit the intelligence community. This culminated in the "Nunes memo" which falsely claimed the FBI tried to conceal information from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.

But Mueller's investigation continues undeterred, with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein giving him his full confidence.

Republicans cannot bury the truth. And Burr's nonsensical attempt to deflect reality does nothing to shield him, his party, or Trump from its impact.