On Tuesday, NBC’s Ken Dilanian told MSNBC’s Halie Jackson that the Senate Intelligence Committee admits it has found, after two years, “no direct evidence” of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. The report met surprise first, then skepticism, with Halie Jackson and her guests.
“After two years and interviewing more than 200 witnesses, the Senate intelligence Committee has not uncovered any direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Dilanian. “That’s according to sources on both the Republican and the Democratic side of the aisle.”
After a short discussion over the report, Halie Jackson said:
“Not to put too fine a point on it, but I want to make sure I’m understanding this: If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, point to this reporting point to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I’m not guilty of conspiracy,” she asked rather incredulously, “he would be correct in saying that??”
Dilanian then said “not guilty” wouldn’t apply because it’s not a court of law. He added the caveat that Rober Mueller’s investigation is not complete and may have access to things that the committee does not have access to.
“That said, Trump will claim vindication through this, and he’ll be partially right,” Dilanian stated.
After pointing out that Senate investigators have access to highly classified informations, Dilanian added: “if there was an intercept between officers suggesting they were conspiring with the Trump campaign, [the committee] would see that. And that has not emerged.”
“So that evidence does not exist, and Trump will claim vindication,” he said.
Guest Shawna Thomas weighed in, questioning whether this report matters.
“There’s two things I question about [the report],” she said.
“Number one, if and when the report finally comes out from the Senate intelligence committee, is there anything in there that will cause, especially some of these new House Dems, to start to clamor, even if there isn’t ‘conspiracy’ or ‘collusion’, for impeachment?” asked Thomas.
“The other thing is, based on what Ken is saying, it’s all stuff we knew already,” she concluded.