Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell said Friday that reported Russian support of Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raises the question of whether President Donald Trump is “an agent of Russia.”
“You can’t hold it against Bernie Sanders that this may be a preference of Russia, but you can hold it and ask questions of Donald Trump if he again is working as an agent of Russia by seeking not only one, to tweet at Bernie Sanders and try to amplify his campaign to get him to be a general election opponent but two, if he is indeed firing people on his staff who are telling others about Russia’s preferences,” Swalwell told CNN Friday.
U.S. officials reportedly told the Democratic presidential candidate that Russia is conspiring to assist Sanders with the nomination and to affect the ultimate 2020 presidential election. Exactly how the Russian influence is happening has not been revealed.
The national security officials also briefed President Donald Trump, senators and congressional representatives. (RELATED: Trey Gowdy Doesn’t Believe That Russia Would Help Trump Against Bernie Sanders)
Swalwell told CNN Friday that he couldn’t discuss the briefing, but said, “I did ask [FBI] Director [Christopher] Wray at a judiciary hearing if Russia was still interfering and he plainly said yes.” The congressman gives “credit to Bernie Sanders for disavowing what [Russia] was doing … and saying to Putin ‘I’m not going to put up with it.’”
Swalwell insisted, “The real question, though, is did Donald Trump know that Russia had a preference for Bernie Sanders? Donald Trump has for the past few months has constantly and not so subtly been tweeting that his preferred candidate is Bernie Sanders. Is he taking intelligence that he’s getting and feeding it back to be aligned with Russia so he gets the candidate he wants in the general [election]?” (RELATED: ‘Putin’s Puppet’: Clinton Takes Shot At Trump Based On Vague Reports Of Russian Interference in US Election)
Although Swalwell has never offered any proof that the president is a Russian agent, that has never stopped him from making the accusation. The congressman said he didn’t care what the Mueller report had to say about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia because he knew Trump “acts on Russia’s behalf.”
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, Attorney General William Barr said that the president has been “falsely accused” of being a “treasonous” Russian agent.