Democrats spent much of the day on Tuesday criticizing Donald Trump Jr. for meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselniskaya, who reportedly promised him compromising information about Hillary Clinton, during his father’s presidential campaign. In the evening, during an interview with Fox News, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) surprised viewers when he joined in on the criticism and scolded the Trump administration for distracting the American people with yet another scandal.
Gowdy started the interview by saying that he wasn’t going to comment on whether or not Trump Jr. had broken the law by meeting with Veselniskaya.
‘I am going to let Bob Mueller sort out all the criminality. That it is not the job of members of Congress; it is not the job of the New York Times.’
When asked if he was “troubled” by any of the news that has come out, Gowdy explained that he was troubled on three levels. First is the legal level, which he said he would leave to Mueller. Second is the political level and the fact that, once again, a new revelation about the Trump team’s ties to Russia has come out. The third level is the “amnesia of people that are in the Trump orbit.”
He said about this last level:
‘Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say, “From the time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single one of those and we’re going to turn them over to the special counsel,” because this drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of this administration.’
Gowdy then went on to say that he isn’t concerned at the moment about Veselniskaya possibly arranging the meeting so that she could influence the Trump campaign to change the Magnitsky Act, which was put in place in 2012 to punish Russia for its human rights violations.
The head of the House Oversight Committee said that rather than being worried about attempts to change the Magnitsky Act, he is “much more concerned about the purported reason for the meeting.”
‘The purported reason was for an agent of a foreign power to try to influence our election. That concerns me more than someone trying to sit down with a member of perhaps an incoming administration to lobby for a policy change.
‘I’m much more concerned with the words in the email that the real reason [Veselniskaya] wanted to meet.’
Following this comment, Gowdy was asked to clarify which words in the email concern him the most. He first answered by listing “Russian government,” “efforts to help the Trump campaign,” and “official documents.” He then added:
‘Those are the kinds of words that, for months and months, Republicans have been saying there is no evidence of collusion…and here we have this meeting that may amount to nothing, but here we are on a Tuesday on a week we ought to be discussing infrastructure or tax reform, and we’re still talking about Russia.
‘We should have known about [the meeting] before yesterday.’
Watch the full interview with Gowdy in the video below, available via YouTube.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.