Sen. Cory Booker was the second presidential candidate to question Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Democrat took particular issue with Barr writing that the American people should be grateful for special counsel Robert Mueller’s report finding no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, arguing that the campaign had hundreds of contacts with a foreign adversary.
“Should the American people be grateful that Trump made several attempts to thwart an investigation into the links of his campaign and Russia?” Booker asked.
“As I mentioned, during a campaign, foreign governments make a lot of attempts to contact different campaigns," Barr responded.
Cory Booker to Bill Barr: In your news conference, you suggested the American people should be grateful the Mueller investigation cleared him of collusion. Should the American people be grateful the Trump campaign had 215 contacts with Russian operatives and then lied about them? pic.twitter.com/WOOMedsYrv— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) May 1, 2019
Booker also pressed Barr on the sharing of internal polling data. For background on that section of the report:
The report does detail that [Paul Manafort] shared Trump campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate the U.S. says has ties to Russian intelligence, and that the two men met secretly during the campaign to discuss a peace plan that “Manafort acknowledged to the special counsel’s office was a ‘backdoor’ way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine.”
The report said that both Manafort and Kilimnik “believed the plan would require candidate Trump’s assent to succeed,” if he were elected.
Still, prosecutors “did not identity evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election,” the report says. (AP)
"We know it's illegal and wrong for a campaign to share poll data with a super PAC," Booker stated.
But Barr replied that there's no indication the Trump campaign conspired to act with Russian operatives.