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Schiff: An Abundance Of Evidence Of Collusion With Russia, Trump Trying To “Rewrite History”

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Adam Schiff said there is an abundance of evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election. In an interview with MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt and Sunday, Schiff said Trump’s “attempt to rewrite history is a full-scale assault on the rule of law.” “Don Jr. accepted, he set up a secret meeting at the Trump Tower to get the dirt,” Schiff said. “The president’s son-in-law was there, the campaign chairman was there. And what’s more, the campaign chairman in a different vignette gave internal polling data to someone linked to Russian intelligence. You had other people like Roger Stone in touch with the Russian cut-out that was publishing the stolen Hillary Clinton material through WikiLeaks.” “All of this is abundance evidence of collusion,” Schiff declared. “But this is their attempt to gaslight America, and once again saying you can’t believe your eyes, you can’t believe what’s written in the transcripts. You have to, you know, accept our counter-narrative of things. But the evidence is there for all to see.”

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC HOST: Well, certainly, the estimates that he’s been offering, death tolls have been rising over time. Mr. Chairman, I want to switch gears and ask you about Mike Flynn and then also about those transcripts that were released of your investigation into Russian-related matters. But let’s start with Flynn. The Justice Department, of course, dropping its case against him and Vice President Mike Pence’s tune has really changed on Mr. Flynn. I remind all our viewers that originally he lied to the vice president, Mike Pence, when he was the national security advisor. Let’s watch then and the now, and then we’ll talk about it. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: When he was fired, did you know he had lied to the FBI? MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I can tell you is I knew he lied to me. And I know the president made the right decision with regard to him. REPORTER: Bringing him back into the administration, is that fine with you? PENCE: I think — I think General Michael Flynn is an American patriot, and he served this country with great distinction in uniform, and now I believe the decision by the Justice Department lays bare what was — what was clearly prosecutorial abuse. And for my part, I’d be happy to see Michael Flynn again. (END VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: A pretty remarkable switch from the vice president. And, of course, former President Barack Obama weighing in on the Flynn matter broadly, saying that this is the kind of stuff where you get worried that the basic not just institutional norms, but basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. What’s your reaction to the vice president’s change of tune that we just showed right there? SCHIFF: Well, you know, it’s pathetic, not surprising, but pathetic — the degree to which the vice president will mimic anything the president says. Apparently, it’s not the vice president’s view that a national security advisor that lies to him about contacts he’s having with the Russians — well, that’s perfectly fine. He’d happy to have him around. Let’s not forget what the lies were about. The Russians interfered in our election in 2016 to help elect Donald Trump. And shortly thereafter, Barack Obama imposed sanctions on the Russians for interfering in our democracy. And then, Mike Flynn has a conversation with the Russians and reportedly told the Russians, don’t react to these sanctions. Implication being, we’re going to make this problem go away. After all, as we know, the Russians helped elect Donald Trump, and this is what he lied about. He lied about those conversations with the Russians that were meant to undermine the sanctions imposed on their interference in our democracy. Bill Barr says, you know, those lies just don’t matter. That’s breathtaking. Now, they couldn’t say he didn’t lie because he pled guilty repeatedly. He also said in his plea that these were material lies. And for now, Bill Barr to do the president’s bidding, for Mike Pence to echo the president’s attempt to rewrite history is a full-scale assault on the rule of law and so discouraging for this former Justice Department, former USA. HUNT: So, one question that I do have for you more broadly, and it relates to the Flynn matter. But these transcripts that were released this week, we had some threats from the DNI’s office, to put them out there if the committee wasn’t going to come out and release them as well. And now, the president’s allies are essentially saying that the transcripts prove that you overstated the case of collusion in your role as chairman of the committee during this investigation. How do you respond to those criticisms? SCHIFF: Well, first of all, just so people know the timeline, the White House sat on these transcripts for about a year and refused to allow the final transcripts to be declassified so that we could release them. That happened only this week and we released them within days of that. So they sat on these I think until they believed they would be stale. But what those transcripts reveal is — much of this is known now through the Mueller report. But what they reveal is the Russian approached the Trump campaign. They did so in writing. They offered dirt they had on Hillary Clinton as part of what they described as a Russian government effort to help the Trump campaign, and at the highest levels, the Trump campaign said, yes, we’ll take it, we love it. Don Jr. accepted, he set up a secret meeting at the Trump Tower to get the dirt. The president’s son-in-law was there, the campaign chairman was there. And what’s more, the campaign chairman in a different vignette gave internal polling data to someone linked to Russian intelligence. You had other people like Roger Stone in touch with the Russian cut-out that was publishing the stolen Hillary Clinton material through WikiLeaks. All of this is abundance evidence of collusion. But this is their attempt to gaslight America, and once again saying you can’t believe your eyes, you can’t believe what’s written in the transcripts. You have to, you know, accept our counter-narrative of things. But the evidence is there for all to see. HUNT: Indeed, those transcripts are now publicly available for anyone who wants to go and sift through them there. Congressman Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, thank you very much as always for being on the show.

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