California Rep. Maxine Waters is quickly cementing her position as congressional Democrats’ go-to conspiracy theorist on all matters related to Trumpworld ties to the Kremlin, and she did not disappoint in a TV appearance on Tuesday.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Waters speculated that Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s recent announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2018 may be due to his own improper links to the Russian government.
Waters acknowledged that she has no evidence to support that theory, but she offered it anyway.
“There is a lot of speculation about what he’s doing,” Waters said of Chaffetz, who serves as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
“There are those who think that he, in some ways, have some connections to what is going on in the Ukraine and perhaps in Russia itself and knows something about all of this. I don’t really know. I can’t say, but he’s strange in the way that he’s conducting himself,” she said.
A more conventional theory about Chaffetz, which Waters did also note, is that he plans to run for Utah governor in 2020.
Ironically, Waters and Hayes were discussing Chaffetz because he announced earlier on Tuesday that he had seen evidence suggesting that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn may have broken the law by failing to disclose payments he received from Russia and Turkey. (RELATED: Chaffetz Says Michael Flynn May Have Broken The Law In Foreign Money Case)
“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” Chaffetz said during a press briefing after viewing classified documents provided by the Defense Department.
“He was supposed to seek permission and receive permission from both the secretary of state and the secretary of the Army prior to traveling to Russia to not only accept that payment but to engage in that activity. I see no evidence that he actually did that,” the Republican continued.
But Waters dug deep into her reservoir of harebrained theories and offered up a possibility for why Chaffetz may be critical of Flynn, who was fired from his job in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador.
“Maybe [Chaffetz] thinks that if he rolls out and points to the fact that something is going on with Flynn that he did not disclose, and this is criminal, I mean he’s violated a federal law, that somehow this will raise him above maybe what connections he may have with the Kremlin,” Waters said, adding that “we need to keep an eye on him.”
Hayes cracked a smile as he tepidly attempted to interject during Waters’ remarks.
“I should say, congresswoman, I have not seen any evidence produced of that,” he said, adding “but we’ll look for the evidence.”
Waters’ profile has risen during the Trump administration. She has repeatedly called for Trump’s impeachment for a variety of reasons, including the allegations that Trump colluded with the Russian government to influence the election.