Maxine Waters admits there’s no evidence on Trump-Russia collusion

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In a Thursday appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters admitted that there is no proof of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.

Frequent “Morning Joe” guest, Huffington Post editor Sam Stein, asked Waters on Thursday what she meant when she alleged that Trump “colluded” with Russia. Stein noted that he viewed “collusion” as something very specific and asserted that most of the evidence Waters has cited to date appears to be circumstantial.

“I am talking about strategies that were developed, working with the Trump campaign. I really do believe that much of what you saw coming out of Trump’s mouth was a play from [Russia President Vladimir] Putin’s playbook,” Waters said.

Waters claimed that strategies developed by Putin and the Russians included Trump referring to Clinton as “crooked” and encouraging supporters when they chanted “lock her up.” According to Waters, the Russians needed a Trump presidency so that drilling sanctions in the arctic would be lifted, the invasion of Crimea would be ignored, and the reunification of the Soviet Union would be allowed.

“But just to be clear, there has been no actual evidence yet?” Stein asked.

“No, it has not been,” Waters said. “No, it has not. And I want you to know every time I’ve talked about impeachment I’ve said we’ve got to connect the dots, we’ve got to get the facts, we’ve got to do the investigation. That is what leads to impeachment, and I’ve also said that Trump will lead us right there.”

In addition to Waters, several other Democrats have publicly mentioned impeaching Trump, including Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas). However, most Democrats have followed the example of Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said that “no one ought to, in my view, rush to embrace the most extraordinary remedy that involves the removal of the president from office.”

Democrats are reportedly planning to conduct polls to test the popularity of the idea of impeaching the president. Democratic strategists contend that the party will continue to insist on independent investigations versus calling for impeachment.

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