Rep. Maxine Waters admitted Monday that she doesn’t have the facts to prove her firmly held belief that President Trump colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 presidential election.
Ms. Waters, California Democrat and chairwoman of the House Financial Service Committee, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that she still believes Mr. Trump proposed lifting sanctions against Russia in exchange for helping him win in the election, even though a lengthy investigation conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.
“I had done some research, and I knew about [Mr. Trump’s] alignment with Putin, I knew about [Paul] Manafort and what the relationship was and the fact that he had been sent there by Putin, in essence, to head up the president’s campaign,” Ms. Waters said.
“Because I believe, even though I don’t have the facts to prove it, I believe that Putin wanted to lift the sanctions,” she said. “He’s always wanted to lift these sanctions that were placed on him because of his interfering with, and incursion into Crimea. And so I believe that they wanted to elect President Trump and Trump — I will always believe this — that he agreed that if he got elected that he would lift those sanctions. He would like to do it; he’s not been able to do it, but when [Republicans] talk about, ‘we’re just making things up’ and he talks about this as a ‘witch hunt,’ there are too many facts.”
Ms. Waters, one of the first Democratic voices to call for Mr. Trump’s impeachment back in 2017, made the comments while denying Republicans’ claims that Democrats are looking for any excuse to remove the president from office.
“If they want to say we just don’t like him, they don’t really care about what happens to this democracy,” she said. “They don’t have an appreciation for the Constitution and the fact that the Constitution gives us the responsibility to impeach when we see this president or any president who is not good for the country — who’s undermining our country, who’s putting us in danger, who’s aligning himself with a foreign country to interfere in our election. Those are facts.”
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