Dem Rep Moulton: If Trump Admin ‘Conspiring’ with Russia — That Is ‘The Definition of Treason’
Tuesday on CNN’s “Wolf,” while discussing the resignation of Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) said if members of the Trump campaign or administration have been “conspiring” with Russia, they have committed “treason.”
Partial transcript as follows:
MOULTON: The bigger problem, the scandal of the century, not the scandal of the week, is this ongoing relationship with Russia. There is no question, it’s the unequivocal conclusion of all our intelligence agencies that Russia wanted Donald Trump to be elected president. Either that’s just because they think Trump is Putin’s buddy and he is going to do his bidding, or because they have material they can use against the administration. We don’t need to just know what Flynn knew or what his associates in the White House knew. We need to know what Russia knows and what they still hold over the heads of the people in the White House.
BLITZER: Do you think Flynn acted alone when he made that phone call to the Russian ambassador in Washington?
MOULTON: I don’t think that anything in Washington happens alone. Certainly not a call with the ambassador to our number one enemy for the last 65 years. I mean, let’s not lose perspective on exactly who we’re talking about here. Russia is the number one enemy of the United States of America. If members of the administration are essentially conspiring with Russia, either through the campaign earlier or now in the administration itself, look, that’s the definition of treason. This is a very, very serious affair. While we need to understand what’s going on with Michael Flynn, but we can’t let this little scandal, or perhaps a big scandal at the moment, let us lose sight of the much bigger scandal, which is what is the overall connection between Russia and the Trump administration?
BLITZER: Let me be precise on this. You’re throwing out a huge word, treason. Explain exactly what your concern is.
MOULTON: The definition of treason is putting the interests of our enemy ahead of our own. That’s what the definition is. It seems like there’s a lot of evidence that there are members of the administration who are more concerned aboutRussia’s goals than our own. They continually prioritize the desires of the Kremlin, like, for example, rescinding the sanctions that have been so importantly been put in place, and it’s just the voice of the administration that’s doing this. You hear both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill saying that this makes no sense. It makes no sense to pull back sanctions against our enemy. So why is it that the administration wants to do that?
BLITZER: It’s not the whole administration. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., speaking before the Security Council on Crimea, she was very tough on the Russians. General Mattis, in his confirmations, very tough on the Russians. Other officials, Rex Tillerson, even though he had business dealings with the Russians, received an award from Putin, very tough in his comments on the Russians. It’s not the administration as a whole.
MOULTON: Well, absolutely it is because it starts at the top. That doesn’t mean that everybody is implicated, but this is exactly what we need to figure out. I don’t think that Michael Flynn is going to be the only person to fall here. I find it very hard to believe that in an administration that has continually drawn the line, as Jim Acosta said, against criticizing Russia, has continually favored Russian interests very publically, it’s hard to believe that there’s just one fall guy here. I think in a lot of ways that’s what the Trump administration is hoping, that this scandal with Flynn will distract from the larger issue, which is what will distract attention from—did Russia want to influence our election? Why didRussiaa try very fervently to influence our election to get Donald Trump elected president?