'Are You Serious?': MacCallum Presses Swalwell on Continued Claims Trump-Russia Dossier Is Factual
Martha MacCallum challenged Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) on his continued insistence that the Steele dossier is factual, despite the underlying premise of Trump-Russia collusion not being confirmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's two-year investigation.
In a summary of Mueller's findings, Attorney General William Barr wrote to lawmakers that Mueller did not establish evidence that Trump's team or any associates of the campaign conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election.
In light of the Mueller probe's end, MacCallum asked Swalwell whether he's bothered by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign funding the work of British ex-spy Christopher Steele through Fusion GPS. Steele's unverified dossier - which was published by Buzzfeed in 2017 - was used by the FBI to secure a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
MacCallum noted to Swalwell that Steele himself acknowledged that the dossier was "not a finished work product."
Swalwell questioned that assertion and asked "which part" of the dossier has not been proven factual.
"I mean, are you serious?" she responded, noting that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's trip to Prague to meet with Russians - which was alleged in the dossier - has never been proven.
The Intelligence Committee member countered that if Cohen's denials about the trip are taken as truthful, then Cohen should also be believed on his statement to Congress that Trump was in contact with Roger Stone and knew in advance about the release of stolen DNC emails by WikiLeaks.
Both agreed the full Mueller report should be released as soon as possible. A version of Mueller’s report will be made available to lawmakers in "weeks, not months," Attorney General Bill Barr said Tuesday.
Some Republicans have called on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who read large chunks of the dossier into the congressional record in 2017, to resign from his leadership position.
Schiff, however, has doubled down this week on his belief that Trump and his administration colluded with Russia.
"Undoubtedly there is collusion," he told the Washington Post.