Schiff: If Report Is Right, Trump Jr. May Have Been ‘First Person’ to Learn of Russian Meddling
On Monday night, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sat down with Rachel Maddow and reacted to The New York Times’ latest report that alleges that Donald Trump Jr. knew ahead of his meeting with a Russian lawyer that the damning information she supposedly had on Hillary Clinton came from the Russian government.
While Schiff couldn’t answer Maddow’s question that involves the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election, he did express his fascination with the timeline of the events surrounding Trump Jr.’s meeting.
“This is taking place in June,” he began. “So this is taking place before the documents are dumped.”
He was referring to WikiLeaks releasing the DNC’s emails in July 2016, which has since been determined by U.S. intelligence that Russia was behind the hacking of those emails.
“And now one of the questions we’re investigating is ‘Did the Russians begin this as an intelligence gathering operation and later decide to make it a weaponization data operation or did they begin with that intent in mind?'” he elaborated.
Maddow followed up by asking if he believed that Russia had done the hacking before Trump Jr.’s meeting and were holding the stolen emails. He confirmed such logic.
“If this was in June 2016, that’s exactly right.” he responded. “So the hacking had been earlier, the theft of the documents had been earlier, but they hadn’t been dumped and at this point we wouldn’t have known that the Russians intended of escalating that way,”
He then drew this conclusion.
“If this is correct,” he elaborated, “the first person who may have found out that the Russians had decided not just to gather information about what the candidates’ positions might be or what they might do in office- but they had made a decision to intervene to try and help a candidate, the first person who may have learned that was the president’s son through this email.”
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.
[image via screengrab]
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