CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: Trump's "Cautious" Answer On Russia Collusion Throws Campaign Associates Under The Bus
Toobin: Campaign Associates "Would Be Somewhat Uncomfortable Hearing That Answer
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From the May 18 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:
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JEFFREY TOOBIN: Can I just raise one point about what I thought the president said that I thought was interesting and perhaps a clue to how things may unfold in the future? He was asked about was there any collusion between him, his campaign and Russia. And he said very categorically, "I did not." But then he said, "Speaking for myself, I did not."
TAPPER: Let me interrupt you, one second Jeff, because I heard that too and asked them to cut that sound. Let me play that right now
[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]
DONALD TRUMP: But the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there is no collusion between, certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians, zero. I think it divides the country. I think we have a very divided country because of that, and many other things.
[END VIDEO CLIP]
TAPPER: And then there it is, Jeff. As you note, he said, "Certainly myself and my campaign, but I can only speak for myself." So in a way he just said there was no collusion but I can only speak for myself, I can't speak for my campaign.
TOOBIN: Right. If I were Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn or Carter Page or even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, all of whom had contacts between -- with the Russians of one kind or another, I would be very, somewhat uncomfortable hearing that answer. And you know, it is certainly fertile ground for the Mueller investigation and for the congressional investigations to determine, well, if he didn't, who did? And if they had these contacts, why did they have those contacts, and did they discuss those contacts with candidate Trump? I mean, that's where the investigations start to get complicated, and that's why in part they take a long time. So, you know, this was a very categorical denial on his part regarding his behavior. But as for his campaign, it was a lot more cautious and less definitive.