Rep. Adam Schiff: Trump Tower Moscow Deal "A Different Form Of Collusion"


Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, responds to attacks from President Trump and talks about the difference between "conspiracy," "collusion," and "corrupt coordination," in an interview on NBC's 'Meet the Press.'

REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Our priority is to make sure that the president is working in the national interest, that he not motivated by some pecuniary interest or fear of compromise or actual compromise that’s the length and breadth of it. In terms of the business, we are not interested in our committee whether he’s a tax cheat, or whether he is worth what he says he is, or those issues. What we are interested in is does the president have business dealings with Russia such that it compromises the United States?

And the perfect example is something we know about already, that is, as a presidential candidate, while he was telling the country he had no business dealings with Russia, he was pursuing the most lucrative deal, I think, of his life and seeking the Kremlin’s help to make it happen. That’s a different form of collusion but it is equally compromising to the country because it means the president of the United States is looking out for his bank account and not for the United States of America...

Look I think when the president says there’s no collusion, what he means is, 'Bob Mueller has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt I’m guilty of the crime of conspiracy.' Well, that’s a pretty high bar.

But when people say there’s no collusion, they must have a different word for the kind of corrupt coordination of effort between the Trump campaign and the Russians because when Mike Flynn was secretly talking to the Russian ambassador and trying to undermine bipartisan sanctions on Russia and lying about it, that was a form of collusion.

When the Trump family and campaign manager were meeting at Trump Tower to get dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what was offered as the Russian government effort to help the campaign, that was a form of collusion.

When the president himself and his business are trying to make money from the Russians and get Russian help during the campaign and promising or a new relationship with Russia and doing away with sanctions that’s a form of collusion.

It is certainly a form of corrupt combination. Ultimately it will be up to Mueller to determine if that's a crime.

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