Where are we at in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation now? After former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, associate Rick Gates, campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn were arrested, where do we go next, and how bad does it look for Trump and others associated with him?
As reported by CNN, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called it “pretty damning.” Schiff appeared on State of the Union with Jake Tapper and talked about the latest in regards to the Trump-Russia investigation being performed by congressional investigators. (Watch video below)
He first spoke about the warning that White House Communications Director Hope Hicks had received from the FBI that the Russians were trying to reach out to Trump via his family and campaign staff.
‘We do know the Russians throughout the campaign were making outreach to the campaign. They continued that during the transition including some of the people they talked to during the campaign, and obviously even after that point. So, this is part of a concerted Russian influence operation that never stopped.
We’ve also seen a lot of what we saw during the campaign in terms of social media intervention never stopped.’
Exactly. Tell us something we didn’t know. The Russians did their best to infiltrate and influence the election to their benefit. Russian troll bots are still strong on social media outlets, too. Schiff confirmed that when he said the Russians didn’t just come back. In fact, they never left.
Schiff also explained that Russian protocol to reach out to governments to influence them with their own agenda includes reaching out to multiple people – not just one, such as Mike Flynn.
Schiff then explained the evidence so far is beyond convincing with revelations such as Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya for dirt on Hillary, WikiLeaks reaching out to Trump Jr. with a link to Clinton’s hacked emails, and Russian hacking. To see the connection, he explained you have to look at the timeline of Russia trying to make contact with the Trump campaign.
‘You know, I think you have to look at the pattern and chronology.
‘You have in late April the Russians approaching the Trump campaign and saying, “We have stolen Hillary Clinton emails.” You have only weeks later the Russians making another approach to the campaign, this time at the highest levels, offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
‘The campaign already on notice that they have emails. Then you have the message going back from the campaign to the Russians basically, “We would love to have your help. We would love to play ball. But we are really disappointed in what you gave us.”‘
He added to the timeline that shortly after that Julian Assange released the hacked emails, which he received from the Russians. The Russians also started publishing the emails. Around that time, Don Don Jr. was in contact with WikiLeaks via Twitter’s direct messaging system. Schiff then noted there’s no way you can just blow that off.
‘So, we have all of these facts and chronology. You’d have to believe these were all isolated incidents not connected to each other… just doesn’t make rational sense.’
Let’s break that down. If you’re trying to rationalize that none of these events are connected to one another, you have no common sense whatsoever. All it takes is common sense to see there is some sort of connection. Schiff then broke it down on a level anyone should be able to understand. He said:
‘The Russians offered help. The campaign accepted help. The Russians gave help, and the president made full use of that help. That is pretty damning, whether it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiracy or not.’
Look, there was collusion. It’s like Schiff said. The Russians wanted to help. They contacted Trump officials and offered help. Trump officials went with it and used it to their benefit. That’s collusion. End of story. Period.
Watch video below: