Speed Reads


GOP House Intelligence member says Russia did try to help Trump, his panel 'lost all credibility' to investigate

House Republicans are wrapping up the House Intelligence Committee's investigation of Russian election meddling and any ties to President Trump's campaign, over the objections of the Democrats on the committee. But there doesn't appear to be unity in the panel's GOP ranks, either. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who led the committee's investigation, said the GOP majority will conclude in its report that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia and Russians did not try to help Trump win the election.

The U.S. intelligence community disagrees with that assessment, and said so again Monday, CNN's Erin Burnett reminded House Intelligence Committee member Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) Monday night. "They believed that the Russian intent was to hurt Hillary Clinton, but as it became clear that Donald Trump was a viable candidate, they then took it further," Burnett said. "They wanted to explicitly help Donald Trump. So you're saying you do agree?" "I believe there's evidence of everything that you just said," Rooney agreed. "But I also believe there's evidence to where they were trying to wreak havoc on both sides."

Rooney said his assertion is "not completely the opposite" of what Conaway said. "I think there were efforts to try to hurt Hillary and help Trump, but I think there was also the opposite, too," he said. Burnett asked why Republicans are wrapping up the House investigation with questions outstanding, and Rooney was frank. "We have gone completely off the rails, and now we're basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day's news," he said. "As you allude to, we have lost all credibility."

Russians still want to interfere and Americans are already voting, Rooney said, and "if we don't get any of these recommendations out before this cycle gets fully underway, then we really have just completely wasted a year of everybody's time."