Chris Wallace Repeatedly Grills Rep. Himes on Mueller Report: ‘It Doesn’t Say There’s Plenty of Evidence of Collusion’
WALLACE: Congressman, let’s start with what you told your local newspaper in Connecticut this week about whether the Mueller report clears the president on the issue of collusion with the Russians. Here’s what you told them.
I’m not sure I would break out a lot of champagne. They try to make the case that the Mueller report says there’s no evidence of collusion. There’s plenty of evidence.
But, Congressman, now I’m taking the counterargument to what I was discussing with Kellyanne. It doesn’t say there’s plenty of evidence of collusion.
REP. JIM HIMES, D-CT: No, what the Mueller — well, first of all, nobody knows what the Mueller report says, because we haven’t seen it. We’ve got the four-page Barr summary.
And even though my Republican friends are attacking Adam Schiff and others by saying that the Mueller report says no evidence, that’s not at all what it says. If you read the Barr letter, the Barr letter says that the investigation was not able to establish. So, Chris, two things —
WALLACE: No, excuse me. With all due respect, sir, that’s absolutely incorrect. I’m going to put up on the screen because we know that this probably was going to come up, the specific quote from Attorney General Barr.
Here’s what he says: The special counsel did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts despite multiple offers from Russian affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
So, specifically the special counsel is not saying there is insufficient evidence to prosecute. He saying it didn’t happen.
HIMES: Right. So, again, two things are possible at the same time. Number one, whatever happened, and there’s 400 pages of report that we are going to see, so something happened or it wouldn’t be 400 pages long. But whatever happened, the conclusion is that it’s not a chargeable offense.
WALLACE: No, again, sir, respectable, he didn’t say it’s not a chargeable offense. He said the report did not find that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated.
WALLACE: On the issue of obstruction, he said, I’ve got some issues as to whether it’s a prosecutable offense. He didn’t say that when it came to collusion.
HIMES: Right, Chris, but my own quote, which you read back to me, was saying that there was not a finding of no evidence. And that is also true. So, the conclusion is that there was not explicit collusion, conspiracy, but that does not mean that there is no evidence, OK?
Now, that’s sort of a fine point. But here’s the big picture — we are accepting that, and Adam Schiff and his famous speech of last week said, we are accepting the conclusion of Bob Mueller — something. of course, that the Republicans did not do on Benghazi, on Uranium One, on Clinton emails.
We are accepting that and we want to see the report and this is why I say I wouldn’t break out the champagne just yet, for two reasons. One, the conclusion, despite what Kellyanne Conway just told you, is not clear on obstruction, and number two, again, at 400 pages, we are all speculating about what’s in there, but we know about Don Jr.’s meeting in Trump Tower.
HIMES: We know about many people going to jail for lying about Russia. My guess is that when you see the whole report, you will see good reasons, good reasons for why a number of people, a lot of people were concerned by the possibility, since disproved, that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians.