Rep. Maxine Waters said once we're able to "connect the dots" with Russian collusion, Trump will be impeachable. Waters acknowledges there is no evidence yet, however said, "much of what you saw coming out of Trump's mouth was a play from Putin's playbook."
"I think that when you saw him absolutely calling Hillary crooked, the 'lock her up, lock her up,' all of that was developed. I think that was developed strategically with people from the Kremlin, with Putin," Waters said on the Thursday edition of Morning Joe.
DAVID IGNATIUS, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Congresswoman, I’m curious about the timing and the politics of this impeachment question. We remember from Watergate that you have a grand jury investigation and then you have a referral of facts.
WATERS: That's right.
IGNATIUS: Unindicted co-conspirators that go to the House Impeachment Committee that's formed.
IGNATIUS: The Republicans control the House now.
WATERS: That's right.
IGNATIUS: And they control it by substantial majorities.
IGNATIUS: Realistically, are we talking about any possibility of impeachment debates, seriously, coming in 2018, after this new Congress?
Or do you think this should be an issue in the 2018 midterms, that that's what Democrats should run on?
WATERS: Well, I think it's an issue now and I think that the Republicans who have been cautious, many of whom are worried but not ready to step forward, recognizing that they have to be concerned about their re-elections, et cetera, they won't be able to stand with this president when we unfold his connection to the Kremlin and what they were involved in, which we and I consider to be collusion.
I think it's going to be borne out. And I don’t think that any Republican, even, you know, moderates or conservatives, who love America and who consider themselves patriots, they cannot stand with this president when it appears he has participated in undermining this democracy. They're going to have to fall. That's what I believe.
SCARBOROUGH: Sam --
SAM STEIN, "HUFFINGTON POST": You keep mentioning collusion.
STEIN: I want to define what you mean by collusion, because what you're talking about seems more circumstantial to me, bank records, perhaps contacts that were of a nebulous nature.
Who knows why Flynn was talking to the Russian ambassador?
It could have been, it seems to have been about sanctions. Collusion to me is very specific. It means that the Russian government or actors within were trying to elect Donald Trump. But I want to know what collusion means to you, because that seems to be the standard by which you're saying he should be impeached.
WATERS: Yes, absolutely. I am talking about strategies that were developed working with the Trump campaign. I really do believe that much of what you saw coming out of Trump's mouth was a play from Putin's playbook.
I think that when you saw him absolutely calling Hillary crooked, the "lock her up, lock her up," all of that was developed. I think that was developed strategically with people from the Kremlin, with Putin.
And I think it's more than bank records. I think that you can see that visits, you know, to Moscow were made during the campaign by Manafort and others. I think it's a lot more absolute --
STEIN: -- developed the talking points for the Trump campaign?
WATERS: I think that there was a cooperation in developing strategy about how they could ensure that Hillary Clinton was not elected. They need Trump. Trump will be there to support lifting those sanctions. That's what they really want to happen.
They want to drill in the Arctic. Tillerson has negotiated a multibillion-dollar deal with Exxon to do that drilling. They can't get the equipment, the supplies and all that they need until the sanctions are lifted.
They want Trump; not only will he support lifting those sanctions, he also will turn a blind eye to the expansion that Putin is trying to do. He does not care about them having invade Crimea and does not care whether or not this egotistical maniac, Putin, is attempting to reunite the whole Soviet Union.
STEIN: -- but just to be clear, we haven't -- there have been no actual evidence yet.
WATERS: No, it has not been. No, it has not and I want you to know, every time I've talked about impeachment, I’ve said we've got to connect the dots, we’ve got to get the facts, we’ve got to do the investigation. That is what leads to impeachment and I also said that Trump will lead us right there.