There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not Russian intelligence and senior Russian political leaders, including Vladimir Putin were cooperating, with colluding with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election.
— Senator Chris Coon
This past week Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) uttered those words while appearing on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell. Mitchell followed up by pressing Coons for proof of his accusations, to which Coons replied that he had none. Nevertheless, Mitchell didn’t proceed to excoriate the Senator for hurling such wild and unsubstantiated claims but simply let the moment pass and Coons’ commentary be left hanging in the media nether.
Thankfully, Chris Wallace at Fox News is not nearly as gutless, and he took the Senator to task for his dangerous comments on Fox News SUNDAY.
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Wallace held Coons’ feet to the fire and asked him how he could possibly say such a thing without a shred of evidence? Wallace even went so far as to compare the Delaware Senator to erstwhile former warrior against Communism, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI).
At the end of their conversation, what we realize is that Coons might actually be embarrassed for having said something so ridiculous… and he should be. There is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and there will likely never be any evidence because the idea is just preposterous. Especially when we realize that the federal government was apparently watching Trump Tower pretty closely the whole time!
Chris Wallace: Senator, we’re talking here about the president of the United States. Isn’t there more than a whiff of McCarthyism for you as a U.S. senator to say there are transcripts out there that provide insight into whether or not there was collusion, but you don’t even know whether they exist?
Chris Coons: Well, to be clear, Chris, what I was trying to encourage was that the intelligence committee be given access to the raw intelligence. I’ve been told now that that’s going to happen this coming week and I think that’s positive and productive.
Last week on the floor of the Senate, I joined Republican Senator Marco Rubio in a joint speech to talk about Russian interference, Russia as our adversary and the importance of us working together. At the end of speech, Senator Rubio said, “I won’t be part of a witch hunt, and it won’t be part of a cover-up.”
So, to the extent of those comments, they might be some way misinterpreted as leading to sort of a hyperventilating attitude here in the Senate about this, I apologize for that. That’s not what I was trying to do.
What I was trying to do, and I think it’s important, is to draw the American people to what joins us in common, which is the need for us to get to the bottom of this, to get access to what intelligence there is. I am confident that intelligence exists that is relevant to this question. Not that says there is collusion, and proof of it, that’s not what I was trying to say.
Chris Wallace: If I may, I want to talk about the broader story here. Do you have any evidence at this point, in this investigation has been going on for a long period of time. We know that the FBI and intelligence sources were looking at this at least in October, because that’s when they all came out and said that the Russians were interfering.
Do you know of any hard evidence of collusion between what I call “Trump world” and the Russians to interfere in his presidential campaign? Not suspicions, not contacts, but evidence of collusion.
Chris Coons: Chris, I have no hard evidence of collusion. I think what hard evidence there may be will be discovered either through a full release of President Trump’s financial interests and concerns and taxes, or the intercepts that I believe our intelligence community and FBI have of conversations between and among Russian officials. And that’s why I think it’s important for us to get the bottom of this, so we are not still talking about this as an unresolved issue where we don’t know the answer months and months from now.
Chris Wallace: But, sir, do you worry that this continued talk about this when we are months into this and there was no evidence of collusion, there’s no evidence that any crime or anything untoward was committed — do you worry that this continues to put this president under a cloud, continues to derail his agenda, or frankly, sir, is that precisely the point?