Democratic political operatives are circling the wagons around a new talking point: the Trump administration is engaged in a Watergate-level cover-up of Trump advisers’ connections to Russia.
Robby Mook, the Hillary Clinton campaign manager, made the claim during an interview on MSNBC on Wednesday, just after the DNC issued a statement making a similar argument.
Mook was asked to respond to a tweet from Trump earlier in the day that “this Russian connection non-sense” was an attempt to “cover-up” Clinton’s electoral loss.
“Everyone should be incredibly alarmed by this situation. The parallels to Watergate are eerie,” Mook said during the interview.
He argued that Trump is involved in a “potential cover-up” of former campaign advisers’ contacts with Russian government agents.
The New York Times and CNN reported on Tuesday that a handful of Trump advisers, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former national security advisor Michael Flynn, were in regular contact with Russian officials during the campaign.
Flynn was forced to resign on Monday for calls he had with Russia’s ambassador in December. Manafort has denied knowingly talking with Kremlin officials. White House press secretary Sean Spicer denied earlier on Tuesday that the Trump campaign had any contacts with Russian officials before the election.
The Times article noted that U.S. government officials have yet to find evidence that Trump advisers coordinated with the Russian government while it waged a computer hacking campaign against Democrats.
“This is already bigger than Watergate,” said Zac Petkanas, a DNC special adviser and Clinton campaign alum in a statement.
Petkanas called for a special investigation to investigate the Trump team’s contacts with the Russian government as well as for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any probe.
Fmr. Clinton camp mngr Robby Mook on MSNBC: ‘Everyone should be incredibly alarmed by this situation. The parallels to Watergate are eerie.’ pic.twitter.com/V0nwTg2BMm
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 15, 2017