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Tim Kaine Clarifies ‘Treason’ Remarks: ‘I Said Nothing Has Been Proven Yet’

On Tuesday Sen. Tim Kaine hinted on CNN that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer could be treason, but today, in a video with Cheddar, Kaine clarified what he meant by that, as well as his thoughts on Jared Kushner and the GOP health care bill being revealed today.

“We’re now beyond obstruction of justice, in terms of what’s being investigated,” Kaine said on Tuesday. “This is moving into perjury, false statements, and even potentially treason.”

During his interview with Mediaite alum and Cheddar anchor J. D. Durkin, Kaine clarified what he was trying to say.

“When they ran a clip they cut off the first part of my sentence which I said ‘nothing has been proven yet,’ they cut that off. If the issue that is being investigated following this last revelation is did someone coordinate with a foreign adversary [Russia] to attack the basics of American democracy, it doesn’t get more serious than that,” Kaine said.

Kaine said Trump Jr.’s meeting, where he was looking for dirt on Hillary Clinton, is concerning because it goes all the way back to James Comey. When the FBI Director was fired it was just an obstruction of justice investigation, but with more events unfolding, the situation has broadened to include potentially serious charges.

Durkin also brought up senior White House adviser Kushner’s attendance at the meeting, and noted the recent discussion of whether Kushner should still have a job or have his security clearance taken away.

“Let these investigations go forward. If there is information that gets proven that Jared Kushner suggests he should not have security clearance then it should be taken away,” Kaine said.

Kaine then moved to the hot topic of today, the new healthcare bill. He talked about how the new bill still sounds similar to the other versions and how he worries for the future of Medicaid.

“The House proposed to go after Medicaid expansion that the Affordable Care Act did but the Senate bill goes farther. Not only doing that but going after the core Medicaid program,” Kaine said. “In Virginia between 50 and 60 percent of Medicaid recipients are children, 20 percent are people with disabilities, 10 to 15 percent are parents and grandparents and nursing homes. So when you go after Medicaid, that’s who you’re going after.”

According to Kaine, when the Senate bill was released he received over 11,000 calls, letters, and emails about the bill, and 98 percent of those were negative.

“The Senate bill would take nearly 800 billion dollars out of Medicaid and offer nearly a 800 billion dollar tax break to wealthy individuals. This is one of the reasons why the outcry has been so significant,” Kaine said.

Kaine finished with some advice for the bill: stop trying to rush it through.

“Let’s make it a good bill, not a democratic bill, not a republican bill, but more of a bill that has bipartisan feel, and we can do that if we let the committees do their job and hear from the public,” Kaine said. “When you try to do it fast, there is unintended consequences, but you minimize those if you have open discussion. There is never a bill that couldn’t be improved.”

[image via screengrab]

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