Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) suggested Sunday the Democratic National Committee acted inappropriately in colluding with the Ukrainian government to undercut the Trump campaign.
The Democrats and pundits in the mainstream media have raged over the revelation Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer under the pretense of getting opposition research on Hillary Clinton in June 2016.
Despite Trump Jr.’s assertion that nothing of value came from the meeting, Democrats assert the meeting is evidence of collusion between the Trump camp and the Russians — possibly even constituting an illegal act. Most Democrats who have pushed that narrative have not addressed what they find different, if anything, about the fact that DNC staffers worked with Ukrainian contacts to get damaging information on Trump and his campaign.
In an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Sunday, Schiff was confronted with the January Politico story that detailed the DNC’s extensive efforts to work with the Ukrainian government to affect the presidential election.
Karl quoted the piece: "'A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the DNC met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort, and Russia … The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in this race, helping to force Manafort's resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump's campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine's foe to the east, Russia.'"
"So, let me ask you, I understand Hillary Clinton lost, I understand this effort was not as elaborate as the Russian effort," Karl said.
"Was it acceptable, or would it have been acceptable for the Democrats to accept help from the Ukrainian government in this campaign?" he asked.
"No, it wouldn't be appropriate for the Democrats to get help from the Ukrainian government," Schiff replied.
Schiff is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, one of the two congressional committees in addition to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe investigating Russian interference in the election and possible Trump-camp involvement.
In April, Schiff admitted to CNN's Jake Tapper that there was effectively no evidence of collusion between Trump associates and the Russians.
"I don't think we can say anything definitively at this point," he said.
Yet the Politico story Schiff addressed Sunday detailed actual and extensive collusion between the government of the Ukraine and Democrats in 2016.
"Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office," read the article, written by chief investigative reporter for Politico Ken Vogel. "They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found."