Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid alleged Sunday that FBI Director James Comey is obfuscating evidence of collusion between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the Russian government, a claim for which Reid himself has no evidence.
“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government,” Reid’s letter said. He continued, “The public has a right to know this information. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public. There is no danger to American interests from releasing it. And yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.”
Other than Reid’s claim, no official or unofficial links have been found between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. Criticism has instead focused on Trump’s conciliatory rhetoric toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russian espionage efforts at influencing the U.S. elections.
Senator Tom Cotton responded angrily to Reid’s claim on Twitter, saying:
Reid’s bombastic claim is remarkably reminiscent of his 2012 assertion that then Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in the previous 10 years. Reid stuck to his claim throughout the 2012 election, despite clear evidence that Romney had indeed paid taxes every year. Reid claims a single anonymous source from Romney’s former business Bain Capital told him the information in confidence.
Reid even took to the Senate floor to advance his claim saying “As we know, he has refused to release his tax returns. If a person coming before this body wanted to be a Cabinet officer, he couldn’t be if he had the same refusal Mitt Romney does about tax returns. So the word is out that he has not paid any taxes for 10 years. Let him prove he has paid taxes, because he has not.”
Reid defended the assertion as recently as 2015 telling Fusion “I have no repentance, because it was an issue that was important. The American people deserve to know.” Even Politfact rated Reid’s statement a “Pants on fire” lie.
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