Friday on “CNN Newsroom,” Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) was asked for his thoughts on allegations of collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia to win the presidency.
“Newsroom” anchor Pamela Brown asked Brat specifically about a meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a Russian attorney claiming to have opposition research on Trump’s 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton.
Brat said it was a question of if whether or not a statute were violated. He said one had not and added he did not think the interaction was unethical.
He went on to say there was “collusion everywhere,” including between CNN, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and The Washington Post.
Partial transcript as follows:
BROWN: But then you have people like Charles Krauthammer who come out and say, look, that this – this is, you know, this is collusion and maybe awkward collusion, armature collusion, and he’s referring to this meeting between the president’s son and his son-in-law and this Russian attorney. So for some it seems this – this seems to be sort of more of a turning point. Do you think Republicans on Capitol Hill should be more outspoken about this?
BRAT: Well, I mean, there’s collusion everywhere. But the question is whether a statute’s been violated. There’s collusion between CNN and the DCCC and The Washington Post and I don’t complain about that. It’s not illegal. I think it’s unethical, but it’s not illegal. And so we all wish the politics would fade away. And so collusion – I mean that’s not in the statute book. And so I just go back kind of the fundamentals on that piece –
BROWN: Right, it’s the campaign finance law of whether he accepted the solicitation of a contribution or something of value from a foreign government.
BRAT: Right, and that –
BROWN: And that’s where the big question –
BRAT: Right, and if – right, if you – if they crossed the line there, they crossed the line. Then you follow the law.
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