Franken: Trump's wiretapping claims 'just a distraction' from Russia investigations

The Minnesota senator weighs in on Trump's wiretap accusation, AG Jeff Sessions' recusal, and more on "This Week."
7:45 | 03/05/17

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Transcript for Franken: Trump's wiretapping claims 'just a distraction' from Russia investigations
??? And I'm joined now by senator Al Franken, Democrat from Minnesota. And member of the senate judiciary committee. And a key play nor the wild series of events this week. Senator Franken, you sit as we said, on the senate judiciary committee. Do president trump's claim, to you, have any basis in fact? Not, no, not that I can see. I mean, as you said in our opening interview, he said this is a -- he's playing this as fact. I think this is just a distraction. To distract from this very, very serious interference by a foreign power on our democracy. And, the question of whether trump world, his campaign, his business associates, had anything to do with it. And colluding with them. I think he's just distracting, as he tends to like to do. And, what you're referring to, the reason I'm here is that -- when I asked them, senator trump, now -- sessions, now attorney general, about revelations that members of the campaign had met with the Russians, what he would do as attorney general with that. Instead of answering my question, he just said flatly he had not been in contact with the Russians. That turned out not to be true. And this is -- now, a -- How would you characterize that? You had a couple of days to think about it. You said at best it was misleading. Was it a lie? You know, I would like to -- I -- I called for him to recuse himself before this incident. I hadn't called for him to resign. But, he needs to answer some questions. For example, he said at his press conference, that if he had just thought about it for a moment, had taken his time, he would have said that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador. He had seven weeks to say that. He was testifying under oath. To the American people. And, he said something that just wasn't true. But he had seven weeks -- But I want to go back to it. Words matter. Did he lie? Um, well, lie is knowingly telling an untruth. I would -- like to give him some benefit of the doubt. He needs to come back before the committee and explain it. You said Mike Flynn lied. You said Mike Flynn lied or forgot. What's the difference? He lied to the vice president. I mean, he did. He -- that's why he had to resign, okay? Understood. But, in that confirmation hearing, Jeff sessions did -- At the very, very least, it was very, very, very misleading. Um, I -- it's very serious. If he lied knowingly, then he committed perjury. Which, so I don't want to go there and definitively say that we should be prosecuting the attorney general. But I think the attorney general owes it to the judiciary committee to come back and explain himself. If he doesn't, I wrote him a letter on Thursday asking for a reply by the end of business day on Friday. He's not responsible to that. I think he said maybe next week, right? I didn't hear that. But -- look. He -- he -- in his press conference, he quoted his C conversation with the ambassador. Do you think there is anything wrong meeting with the ambassador? There could be. Could be. Why offer that you didn't meet with him unless there is something wrong? Look. This is about did people in the trump campaign or his business associates, the whole world surrounding trump, did they collude with the Russians to attack our democracy? That is an enormous, an enormous issue. That's something we need to get to the bottom of. We need a special prosecutor. You absolutely agree they need an independent special prosecutor? You heard Michael mukasey say there nothing to prosecute. You need an investigation. That's what an independent prosecutor does. Leads the investigation. Because, right now, we have a large number of people in the trump campaign, his business associates, who were dealing with the Russians at the same time they're hacking and then releasing information. Not only that, they had hundreds of trolls putting out misinformation. Fake news. Messing with Google's algorithms so if you googled anything about Russia you saw things from Russia today and sputnik. This was an take on the united States. And the the question is, and it's beginning to look more and more like we -- we certainly have to investigate this. That the trump campaign was in league with them. And what the -- what do the Russians have on Donald Trump? Why won't he release his taxes? I want to just very quickly here. James clapper. The former director of national sbel against just said on "Meet the press" there was not a wiretap of trump tower. And he would know that. Just your reaction to that and having the president tweet the way he did. My reaction to that is, of course there wasn't. The president asserting like, if your first interview. He said this was a fact. The -- anyone who knows. On the judiciary committee, we look at the intelligence stuff. You have to get a FISA order in order to get something like that. You would know? Would I know? Uh -- probably I wouldn't know for sure whether they got a thing on a server. Or applied for something on a server. But the president of the united States did not tap Donald Trump's phone. I mean, that's just ridiculousness. A distraction. Here's what I want to get to. His own son, Donald Trump's son, has said in 2008, that Russia did, an inordinate amount of business with them. And we don't know what they have over him. We don't know what the Russians have on Donald Trump. And we need -- If anything. And we need to see, if anything -- we need to see his tax returns. He said that he couldn't release his tax returns because he was under audit. First of all, you can release tax returns if you're under audit. He won't release a letter there the irs saying you're under audit. It's easy to do. They've said the tax returns are not going to be forthcoming. We have to leave it there. I thank you very much for joining us this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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