May 30, 2017

Fascinating exchange between Alysin Camerota and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu over today's CNN story that during the campaign, Russian government officials discussed having potential derogatory information on Trump and his inner circle.

Sununu, who was also famous as the co-host of CNN's Crossfire, not only brushed off the latest story, but would not concede anything disturbing of the stories connecting Trump to Russia.

Camerota starts by asking him if he's "troubled" by the latest information.

"In the 2016 campaign, that's right. I came on your show with derogatory business information on Donald Trump during the primary," Sununu said.

"Why is it a surprise? Why is it a news story that the Russians in Washington would convey the same material to the Russians in Moscow? The same story that you're quoting at the bottom of the story noted that the same sources that gave your reporter that information conceded that it was possible that the Russians were exaggerating or even making it up."

Camerota said it was a concern if the information was used by the Russians to influence Trump.

"Everybody was talking about Trump's business problem. Why is that news now again?" Sununu said.

He also pushed back on the story about Jared Kushner trying to create a back channel with the Russians.

"I don't think it happened that way, but let's speculate on why it might have happened," he said. "There might have been concerns that the intelligence community was feeding Obama the information that he probably shouldn't have had. And you know what, with what you are reporting now on what has come out from deep sources in the intelligence community -- if that was a concern and I doubt it was, but if that was a concern, they were pretty smart to have those feelings."

Camerota asked if there is "anything" about the Russian investigation that troubles Sununu.

His response? The reporting.

"Look, it is now seven months since the election. And to this day, no one has cited a single piece of evidence," he said.

"In your last segment, you guys were patting yourselves on the back because you said Clapper had passed the responsibility off to the FBI. But you forget that in the last weeks of the administration, Obama allowed all his intelligence agencies to share their information.

"And there is no question in my mind that when that happened, since Clapper's group had originated this, that anything the FBI had would have gone back to Clapper. So it is nice for Clapper to try and wash his hands of it by throwing it in the FBI's lap, but he had access in those days to whatever the FBI had. There is nothing there," he insisted.

After trying to get Sununu to concede there was anything unusual about Jared Kushner's attempts to create a back channel with Russia, Camerota said she was trying to gauge "your comfort level with all of this."

"The only discomfort I have is with folks in the media trying to create a veniality without having the courage to specifically tell me. I don't have -- i don't have veniality," he said.

"You should be concerned if there was collusion," she said.

"I don't see any evidence of collusion. Do you?"

She said no, "but we're at the beginning of the investigation."

"You're seven months into the investigation!" Sununu exclaimed.

Camarota said not exactly. "Robert Mueller has just taken over."

"So it is a new investigation?"

Camarota said that wasn't fair, that the investigation was "just starting."

"Can I ask a question?" he said. "If Mueller comes out and says my version is correct and yours isn't, how much crow are you doing to eat?"

"Governor, I don't have a version of events," she said.

"Of course you do," he said.

He said the investigation was proceeding "without identifying a veniality that should be investigated."

"Governor, we appreciate your perspective there is nothing to see here and that the investigation is, I don't know, silly," Camerota said.

"Politically motivated by folks trying to rationalize a horribly run Democratic campaign," he said.

See? That's all there is. Nothing to see here, no big deal -- except we now know exactly what line of attack the White House will take in denying collusion.

Although we shouldn't write off Sununu's predictive powers just yet. After all, here's some of the things he said about Trump before he enthusiastically endorsed him:

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