Mar 31, 2019 - World

Mulvaney on Trump-Russia contacts: "The issue here is not whether it's ethical"

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that the Mueller investigation cleared President Trump on the question of whether his campaign conspired with Russia in the 2016 election, and that it's up to voters to decide whether the campaign's various contacts with Russians were "unethical or "immoral."

"I think the voters are going to decide about the ethics and morality of the people on either side. People liked Bill Clinton, even though they might not have thought he was that ethical. That's not the job of the House Intelligence Committee. It's not the job of the House Oversight Committee. It's not the job of the House Oversight Committee. ... Voters make decision about the candidates in other places. And importantly, members of Congress — even if they are the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — don't get to substitute their judgment for the voters'."

Context: Mulvaney was responding to a speech by Rep. Adam Schiff in which the House Intelligence chairman listed off a number of incidents during the 2016 campaign that have raised questions about Trump associates' ties to Russia. Every Republican on the House Intelligence Committee called on Schiff to resign for promoting what they called "a demonstrably false narrative" about Trump-Russia collusion.

Why it matters: Democrats have largely accepted that special counsel Robert Mueller was not able to establish a criminal conspiracy in his investigation, but they are still pushing for the Justice Department to release the full report in order to determine whether Trump and his campaign acted unethically or may otherwise be compromised.

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