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Chris Cuomo and Rep. Jim Jordan Tangle Over Russia Investigation

CNN’s Chris Cuomo had Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on New Day Thursday morning for a lengthy sparring match over the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign ties to Russia.

 

Cuomo started by asking if Jordan though Russian meddling in the 2016 election to be an urgent issue — perhaps given the president’s reported reluctance to address Russian meddling head on.

Jordan replied “of course, everyone believes in the urgency of that,” and then brought up an op-ed he wrote in which he claims former FBI director James Comey “misled the American people when he called the Clinton investigation a ‘matter’ instead of an ‘investigation,’ which it was.”

“He did it willfully, he did it intentionally, he did it at the direction of the attorney general,” Jordan said.

Cuomo contended that Jordan’s op-ed “can read as just tit-for-tat. You’re investigating our guys, so we want to investigate your guys.” He also noted the investigation into Russian meddling, which involves the current administration, seems more relevant than “looking at what happened with non-presidential people before now.”

“You don’t think it’s important to understand why the Justice Department misled the American people and then why that same individual, when he was fired, decided he was going to leak a government memo through a friend to The New York Times with the stated goal — he said this under oath…to create momentum for a special counsel,” Jordan shot back. “And not just any special counsel, but his good friend, his mentor and his predecessor Bob Mueller.”

“You don’t think it’s important to get to the bottom of that?” he asked.

“I smell what you’re cooking here,” Cuomo responded, before noting a “number of fact assumptions in [Jordan’s] argument,” namely that the congressman is “implying intent” on behalf of Comey, to mislead the American people.

Jordan replied that it doesn’t matter what Comey’s intentions were, he still misled the American people on orders from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, by calling the investigation a “matter.”

He also brought up reports that special investigator Robert Mueller’s team consists of members that have contributed to Democratic candidates and organizations, calling the squad “all Democrats.”

Cuomo pushed back on that point, contending “they’re not all Democrats.”

“I get your opinion, but here are the facts,” Cuomo said. “Three of eight of the Mueller hires made contributions to Clinton, okay? Three of the eight.

“You had Rosenstein, you had the DOJ both say political contributions are not dispositive of bias. None of them ever worked for Clinton directly. Two who did represent Clinton’s foundation or an aide, never worked for her and worked at a place which also represented key members of Trump’s White House including Manafort, Kushner and Ivanka Trump.”

“So I get what you’re trying to suggest, but the facts aren’t there,” Cuomo concluded.

Jordan then asked why they couldn’t find any Republicans to join the special counsel, and Cuomo pointed out that the man running the probe, Mueller, is himself a Republican.

The two jogged back to Comey and Lynch referring to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” one last time, before Cuomo wrapped up the interview.

Watch the exchange above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

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