White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday took former Obama administration officials to task for publicly pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia while privately telling Congress during classified hearings that they had no evidence of it.
The former officials’ private statements were recently made public, after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was forced to publish more than 50 declassified transcripts from interviews conducted during the committee’s probe into whether there was a collusion.
McEnany at the White House press briefing read some of the public statements from former Obama officials, and compared them to what they had told the intelligence committee behind closed doors.
“We learned that what some Obama officials were saying publicly was much different from what they were saying privately,” she said. She continued:
James Clapper was out there saying that he had evidence that this was ‘worse than Watergate,’ when in fact, a few weeks later, he was saying privately, ‘I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting or conspiring with Russia.’
Samantha Power said, ‘I am not in possession of anything — I am not in possession and didn’t read or absorb any information that came out of the intelligence community suggesting collusion.’
Ambassador Rice: ‘I don’t recall intelligence or evidence to that effect.’ Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch: ‘I can’t say if it existed or not, I don’t recall that being briefed up to me.’
“So, it brings the question to light — why then did we have many years of investigating collusion that these Obama administration officials…never saw any evidence of?” she asked.
“For three years, the American people were dragged through the mud and told that their choice for the president of the United States might have been a Russian asset based on no evidence at all,” she said.
“President Trump was exonerated by the Mueller report and there’s some real questions for these individuals who were saying one thing publicly, and another thing privately,” she said.