Top House Intel Committee Dem: 'We can't accept anything Don Jr. says' about Russia meeting

Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is interviewed on "This Week."
8:21 | 07/16/17

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Transcript for Top House Intel Committee Dem: 'We can't accept anything Don Jr. says' about Russia meeting
president's legal team, thank you for joining us. Thanks for having me E, Jon. I'm joined now by congressman Schiff. He's not ruling out that the president could issue pardons to the key figures in this. Would that put an end to this? It wouldn't put an E end to it. It would be deeply disturb fpg impression the country would get from that was that the president was trying to shield people from liability for telling the truth about what happened in the Russia investigation or Russian contacts. But what I take away from his discussion with you is -- two things. Two points he wants to make. First, the president didn't know. And second, even if he did, there's no crime here. Now, to believe that, we have to rely on two things. Don jr.'s representation of what happened that meeting. We have already seen, many times we can't rely on that. He first said no meeting happened. Then he said it was about adoptions. Then admitted it was about getting information about Hillary Clinton. And then he wasn't forthcoming about who was in the meeting. We can't accept what he says about this. We can't accept what the president says either. If you look at the president's statements around this time, he announces a speech he's going to give where he's going to give the dirt on Hillary Clinton that he then cancels. That would corroborate that don Jr. Didn't get the information he was hoping for. But of course, it contradicts the idea that he was unaware. You have also heard him say several times the president is not under investigation. Is that true? I can't comment on who Bob Mueller may be looking at. We want to determine just what the Russians did. Who was knowing of it. Who was participating in it. And of course the president very publicly encouraged Russia to do exactly what don Jr. Was encouraging them to do privately, that was give us the dirt on Hillary Clinton. Every time there was dirt given, the president applauded very publicly. Was the campaign doing privately what the president urged publicly? You have evidence in black and white that yes, the campaign was encouraging the Russians to give them dirt. And the fact that this was done through intermediaries is just how the Russians operate. If we look at this trump tower meeting. And certainly it's problematic in the shifting explanations are problematic. The bottom line is there any evidence whatsoever tying this meeting or that Russian lawyer to the center piece of this Russian influence campaign, which was the hack of the DNC, the hack of the Clinton campaign e-mails. Is there anything whatsoever tyinging this meeting to that activity by the Russians? It is certainly tied in the sense this is as clear of evidence you co-find of intent of the campaign to get useful information. A willingness to accept we see from the president's son. More than that. But to indicate what the best timing was to Russia. Don Jr. Says late summer. What do we know about late summer? That's when the Russians start dumping this information to accept the attorney's representation that no crime was committed here, you have to accept don jr.'s representations. If they went into the meeting, the Russians want something. They want repeals of the sanctions law. If any kind of understanding comes out of that meeting, you get us the dirt, we'll look favorable on repealing the M magnitsky act. That is a serious crime. From a story in January. You KRIN Jan efforts to sabotage trump backfire. A ewe cane jan-american operative who was consulting for the DNC met with top officials at the Ukrainian embass is si in Washington in an effort to show ties between trump, top campaign aide Paul manafort and Russia. -- Deeply connected to Ukraine's foe to the east. I understand this effort was not as elaborate as the Russian effort. But was it acceptable for the Democrats to accept help from the Ukrainian government in this campaign? No, it would be appropriate for the Democrats to get help from the you crane Jan development. If you accept all the facts in the article, the scale of what the Russians did is not comparable to anything in that article. If it were the comparable analogy would be that the Ukrainian president directed the Ukrainian intelligence agencies to investigate and they sat down with Chelsea Clinton and John podesta and indicated they wanted the information op Donald Trump. The scale is different. But the meeting is problematic? It would be problemati drorks get any support from a goran government. To compare the two is like comparing bank robbery to writing a check with insufficient funds. Both appropriate money from the bank improperly. But a different degree of seriousness and involvement. The most recent person to appear before your committee is a former trump adviser Michael Caputo. He'll be on "The roundtable" in a bit. He called it collusion delusion. His lawyer who was present said the questions devolved into a fishing expedition. Are youonon a fishing expedition when you bring in someone like Michael Caputo? No. We appreciate his cooperation. He's a P.R. Guy. He got an at at THA he got an at ttaboy from the president about this. If we said we were looking for evidence that top trump campaign Pete met with Russian government officials to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, they would have said there's no such thing. You're looking for something that doesn't exist. Now, of course, we know, that does exist. That did take place. They can call it a fishing expedition. A witch hunt. It's all an lined message with the white house. Nonetheless, real evidence is coming forward that can't be ignored. We have learned more people were there. Not just the Russian lawyer. We have this russian-american lobbyist. What is the significance of his presence or is there a significance? I think it's very significant. Here, you have two people now aligned with the Russian government. A third, a translate, we don't know the identity of that person. Did they come from Moscow? Do they have ties to to Russian government? You have a history of a lobby IST getting information. Damaging information about a rival company. If you look at the way the Russian government intelligence agencies work, the Russian government has a priority. In this case, it's getting rid of the magnitsky. They use oligarchs. They put money into accounts. They employ people to do their work. They sit down and offer dirt. What do they want? They want the repeal of that law. Thank you for joining us. When we come back, can the

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