Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. As such, they are wrapping up the witness portion of the investigation.
In their report, expected to be released Tuesday, committee Republicans will disagree with the intelligence community's assessment that President Putin interfered to get President Trump elected. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) was adamant about it when speaking to the press Monday.
“We found no evidence of collusion,” Conaway said Monday. “We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings, inappropriate judgment in taking meetings — but only Tom Clancy could take this series of inadvertent contacts, meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of a spy thriller that could go out there.”
They are not cooperating with Democrats on this effort, who were not consulted on the new 150-page document, but will see it Tuesday for a review. Led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the committee Democrats had planned to hold former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon in contempt for failing to answer questions, and had intended to send subpoenas to other potential witnesses like Donald Trump, Jr. and pursue a probe into the Trump family finances.
The Republicans want none of it.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer after the announcement, disagreeing with the Republicans' conclusion.
Because of his "personal animus" for Hillary Clinton, Putin did all he could to thwart her White House bid. They were "attracted" to Trump, Clapper maintained, because he's a dealmaker and a negotiator and would "probably not beat them up about human rights abuses."