Rep. Peter King (R-NY) asserted on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is improper because there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.
During an interview on CNN, host Chris Cuomo challenged King after he argued that Republicans were being “stonewalled” in the investigation into an FBI “spy” that President Donald Trump says infiltrated his campaign.
“Is it not true that you had officials from the FBI and DOJ say that there was no implanted spy in the Trump campaign?” Cuomo asked. “Is all the reporting wrong on that? Haven’t they already said that?”
“Let’s see what the evidence shows,” King replied.
“You think they’re lying?” the CNN host interrupted.
“I think they’ve certainly not been telling the truth throughout this,” King said of DOJ officials. “That’s for sure. I don’t think there was ever any basis for [the Mueller] investigation in the first place. I think all they might be able to hang their hat on is this unnamed person.”
“And if there’s little evidence from [the alleged spy] as there’s been from the others then it shows this whole investigation should have never been started,” the Republican congressman added.
Cuomo pressed: “You don’t think there was good reason for suspicion about Russian interference in the election and whether or not they were trying to make inroads into the Trump campaign?”
“Absolutely not,” King insisted. “This was based on, as far as we know so far, it was based on Carter Page, who had never had any connection with the campaign other than having his name there. He never met with President Trump. He never met with top people in the campaign.”
“So use that as a basis to investigate a presidential campaign,” he continued, “you, as a civil libertarian, should be shouting from the rooftops against this. If this turns out to be what it appears to be now, this was a terrible abuse of power by the FBI and the Justice Department.”
“I can’t believe you’re saying that,” Cuomo gasped. “With everything we know about the actions Mueller has taken to date — and I believe there’s a lot more that we don’t know because he, unlike a lot of people down there, has been good at keeping his mouth shut — you have had so many points of context, so many bad choices made by people in and around that campaign about what to say and what to do, it seems like there was clearly grounds for suspicion to look.”
“There’s more suspicion with the Hillary Clinton campaign,” King remarked as Cuomo grimaced.
King argued that Clinton’s campaign looks guilty because it relied on a dossier which was created with leaked information from Russian informants.
“That was an intelligence officer working sources, not meeting with government officials from Russia who were promising bad information on your opponent,” Cuomo pointed out, referring to Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower.
King claimed that the Mueller investigation “was based 99.9 percent on the dossier which was obtained by a foreign agent working with Russian agents.”
Cuomo noted that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said that the FBI used a confidential informant to determine if the suspicions about Russians trying to contact the Trump campaign were true.
“Because of the suspicions that you’re choosing to ignore, Congressman,” Cuomo said.
“I’m not trying to ignore anything,” King shot back.
“You just said there was no basis to look,” Cuomo retorted.
Watch the video above from CNN.