In an interview, Friday with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., was introduced to something he’s not likely to encounter when appearing in the friendly confines of CNN and MSNBC — push back.
Swalwell, who has been entertaining the possibility of running for president in 2020, has repeatedly charged that President Donald Trump is an “agent” of Moscow, “acting on Russia’s behalf,” and has stuck with that far-reaching claim in the face of special counsel Robert Mueller submitting his final report that found no evidence of collusion with Russia.
After playing several clips related to the allegation, Cavuto asked his guest, “Do you know something that I don’t know?”
“Do you know something, for example, in the Mueller report that others are unfamiliar with?” he continued. “Because to call the president a Russian agent or to make that charge amidst a report that’s been headlined that there was no collusion really makes folks wonder where you’re coming from.”
Swalwell tried to go down the path that he made the slanderous claim because he loves his country, but Cavuto steered him back to the question at hand, which prompted the Democratic lawmaker to again state that Trump “is acting on Russia’s behalf.”
And knowing that the Mueller report has not been released, Swalwell asked Cavuto, “Have you read the report?”
“No, but neither have you, right?” the Fox News host countered.
Pushing the latest Democratic talking points, Swalwell said there’s a difference between being criminally liable and “wrongdoing.” He goes on to cite circumstantial evidence, repeating exaggerated and misinformed claims to support his accusation.
When asked if he was being “irresponsible,” given that no one knows what’s in the Mueller report, the congressman compared it to the Jussie Smollett case, where the disgraced actor is widely believed to have staged a hate crime against himself.
“Couldn’t it be the same case that we know what happened with Donald Trump and his team with the Russians, that they all lied about it, but just like the Smollett case, it doesn’t reach that high standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The difference, of course, being that there is evidence supporting the charges against Smollett.
He went on to almost comically state that Trump, as president of the United States, does not necessarily have to be held up to the “highest standard in the law,” which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
“You don’t need the Muller report to see all the things that this president did,” said Swalwell.
“Why the hell did we go through this,” Cavuto asked. “Spend the tens of millions of dollars we did, if you’re saying ‘I don’t need to see it to know that the president’s a crook’?”
“I’m saying on the issue of ‘did the president seek to work with the Russians, did he ask them to keep hacking, did he welcome their support, did he take actions that benefited them,’ we don’t need to see the Mueller report. We’ve seen all that,” Swalwell answered.
Cavuto would later ask, “Would you say the president is not a Russian agent?”
“The president acts on Russia’s behalf, I don’t need to see the Mueller report for that,” the Democrat responded.
In the end, Swalwell knows that this preposterous allegation is the only hope he has to draw attention to himself and his fledgling presidential ambitions.
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