Rep. Maxine Waters told MSNBC Tuesday that she still believes President Donald Trump colluded with Russia – citing evidence she uncovered on “Facepage” and “Tweeter.”
The California Democrat also said she continues to support impeaching Trump for his supposed crimes. She insisted that she isn’t worried about the process failing in the Senate or backfiring politically, because the evidence is on her side.
“We don’t know what unveils,” said Waters, who was one of the first Democrats to call for Trump’s impeachment. “We don’t know whether money laundering becomes very evident. We don’t know whether or not collusion based on even what Mueller has done or whatever other information that we discover will be the deciding factor among Republicans.”
Allowed to ramble unchallenged by host Ali Velshi, Waters offered a scattershot justification for why impeachment remains warranted in her mind. She said that Trump is “unworthy” and disrespects the Constitution. Plus, she claimed, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller “basically” found that the president obstructed justice.
Mueller has actually said that he could neither exonerate the president nor accuse him of that crime.
Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, backed off her past claim that Mueller also found proof of collusion in his two-year investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election – bowing to the reality that he explicitly said he did not. However, she continued to insist that she knows better.
“I believe that he has also colluded with the Russian government. He does not criticize [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. I think he has been involved with the oligarchs in the Kremlin, and I think there is a lot more information that Mr. Manafort has,” she said, referring to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Waters suggested the source of her special knowledge was a personal probe she conducted of Trump years ago.
“I looked at all of his allies and long before we got in depth in this discussion. I believe whether we are talking about Manafort and [former campaign adviser George] Papadopoulos and all of those people are organized around their relationship with Russia,” she said. “They all want to lift the sanctions to drill into oil for the Arctic. It’s about money. It’s about everybody making out with this new playground in Russia to make money. I believe that.”
Velshi wrapped the interview by saying: “Congresswoman, always a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you for joining me tonight.”
In an April appearance with MSNBC’s Joy Reid following the release of the Mueller report, Waters described how she supposedly gathered damning evidence of collusion against Trump by browsing social media.
You take a close look at this report and you will be shocked at the information that’s unfolding. I’m not shocked because I and my staff began to look very closely at this president early on, and when we looked at all of his allies and the people who were connected with him, and with Putin and the Kremlin, and with the oligarchs of Russia, we determined something was very wrong, and we dubbed them the ‘Kremlin clan. The Kremlin clan, as identified, has been on my ‘Facepage,’ on ‘Tweeter,’ for almost two years. We know who they are, and this report only confirms that.”
Maxine Waters and the collusion delusion
After leading the media’s conspiracy theorizing about Trump and Russia for years, MSNBC pundits have proved largely unchastened by Mueller’s debunking of their claims. In a Tuesday appearance on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” for example, “the queen of collusion” Rachel Maddow urged the Democrats to stop overthinking impeachment.
“If a president commits high crimes and misdemeanors, the way the Congress is supposed to hold him accountable is by opening an impeachment inquiry, doing an investigation and then voting on whether or not they think that it rises to that level,” Maddow said. “Who cares who it’s good for?”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far resisted calls within her party for impeachment, advocating continued House investigations instead. But MSNBC and other liberal news outlets have helped put her in a tough spot. According to polls, a large majority of Democrats support impeachment, with nearly as many still convinced Trump colluded with Russia.