Tuesday on MSNBC’s “All In,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) discussed the Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential election and disputed reports about the Trump campaign’s contact with Russia. Waters said members of President Donald Trump’s administration and several of Trump’s associates were “a bunch of scumbags.”
Partial transcript as follows:
WATERS: Let me say this. Reince Priebus has been trying to clean up for Donald Trump for far too long. He’s the one that stuck with him all during the campaign when he was making outrageous statements. When he was basically lying and so his time is going to run out. He can’t continue to try to defend this president who is entangled with this Kremlin clan of his while they are all seeking really to get rid of these sanctions that are placed on Russia, because all of them are connected to the oil and gas industry. Just take a look at this.
Take a look at, of course, Michael Flynn—long history of ties to the Russian government, including a paid speech at a party for RT. Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, paid lobbyist for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician in Ukraine who fled to Russia in 2014. Carter Page, one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers doing during his campaign a frequent guest on Russian state media, held a personal stake in Russian oil and gas interest. Roger Stone, who worked in the Ukraine. Wilbur Ross, Trump’s nominee for secretary of commerce was a business partner of Viktor.
And a major financial project involving the bank of Cyprus. And, of course, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was the one who negotiated it, the multi-billion dollar drilling contract with Putin where they were going to drill in the Arctic, and it has been stopped because of the sanctions that were placed by Obama. And I want to tell you, I believe that Tillerson’s real job is to get in here and get those sanctions lifted. But all of them want them lifted because this clan, this Kremlin clan is all about getting the oil and gas money and doing the drilling, and they need this president.
They need this president to get these sanctions lifted. Don’t forget, the second executive order that was signed by the president, that was 1504, which basically would undo the work we have done with Dodd-Frank and making these oil companies disclose the money that they were using to bribe these countries within Africa and other places. So 1504 was very important because Exxon and others now will not have to disclose all of the bribes they’re doing. But these people are all organized around oil and gas. Why are they all in this administration? Why are they all so close to them?
And you alluded to and talked about what is going on with this proposal that is being pushed by Michael Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer who delivered the document. Felix F. Sater, a business associate who helped Mr. Trump scout deals inRussiaa and a Ukrainian lawmaker trying to rise in political opposition movement, shaped in part by Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. Can’t people see what’s going on? Why do you think they hacked into our election? They hacked into the election because they have to make sure that Donald Trump got elected. So this that he could help them with what I think a huge deal.
Not only to lift these sanctions but to take over all of these Soviet countries and pull them back into the Soviet Union so they can have access to all of these resources. It’s clear to me and I just think the American people have to have a better understand what’s going on. This is a bunch of scumbags. That’s what they are.
HAYES: Those are strong words, Congresswoman.
WATERS: They’re all organized around making money.
HAYES: Who do you mean that when you call them scumbags?
WATERS: All of these people that are organized with these oil and gas interest in the administration and friends of the President of the United States, this back channeling that you see. These are a bunch of scumbags, that’s what they are.
HAYES: You mean the secretary of state of the United States?
WATERS: Well, I tell you this, Tillerson is there to get these sanctions lifted. I believe it. Just watch him. He’s going to continue to work on it. This is important for him. He was there because he negotiated the deal for Exxon with Putin.
HAYES: All right, well that — there will be a big fight over that if that happens.