Newly released transcripts from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) closed door Russia investigation hearings show that former Obama officials and Schiff appeared to know that there was little to no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 election.
Here is what former Obama officials testified to when asked during Schiff’s hearings if they had or had seen evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia:
- Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.”
- Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power: “I am not in possession of anything – I am not in possession and didn’t read or absorb information that came from out of the intelligence community.”
- Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice: “I don’t recall any intelligence or evidence to that effect.”
- Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch: “I can’t say that it existed or not.”
- Former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes: “I saw indications of potential coordination, but I did not see, you know, the specific evidence of the actions of the Trump campaign.”
Despite the testimonies contained in the 53 transcripts, Schiff repeatedly promoted the now-debunked claim that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 election and went as far as to say that he had “direct evidence” that it happened.
Donald Trump Jr. told The Daily Wire, “Sounds like it was 53 up, 53 down. None of the former Obama admin people were able to testify that they had seen evidence of collusion. These are probably the same people that the New York Times, CNN and WaPo quote as ‘former US officials’ saying that there totally was clear evidence of collusion.”
Clapper, who had testified that he had no evidence of collusion, said two years later when he was a paid CNN contributor, “What was the Trump campaign doing the same time was essentially aiding and abetting the Russians.”
Clapper made those remarks to the House Intel Committee on July 17, 2017
Here is Clapper in May 2019, while being paid by CNN: “What was the Trump campaign doing the same time was essentially aiding and abetting the Russians” https://t.co/569g0DHCcw pic.twitter.com/xhNv9TzorC
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 7, 2020
The transcripts were released after Republicans pressured Schiff to release them and Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell informed Schiff that the transcripts were cleared to be released after redactions had been made.
Schiff reportedly panicked over releasing the transcripts because he knew what is is now public: that the things that he was claiming in public did not match what officials were testifying to behind closed doors.
A source close to the White House told The Daily Wire yesterday, “Schiff really is panicking In a state of panic, Schiff has been making sloppy mistakes. It was a colossally stupid mistake on his part to send his staff out to find out what role Grenell had in the process, it gave Grenell’s allies in the Intelligence Community the perfect opportunity to disclose that the redactions took place before Grenell got there. Some of Schiff’s other mistakes will play out over the next couple of days.”
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