Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., on Thursday defended his past comment President Donald Trump is an "agent of Russia," saying, "if he wasn't taking orders, he would release the report" special counsel Robert Mueller submitted.
MSNBC anchor Willie Geist reminded Swalwell, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, of his remark during an interview on "Morning Joe" on Thursday.
"You said even in January on MSNBC when you were asked by Chris Matthews if the president is an agent of Russia, you said 'yes,'" and noted the president "will undoubtedly" claim the congressman was "way out there on the question of his campaign's relationship by Russia" in an attempt to discredit his campaign.
"Do you regret saying that?" Geist then asked. "Or you do you still believe President Trump is still an agent of Russia? What do you mean by that?"
Swalwell answered Trump "acts on their behalf, he too often puts their interests, too often, ahead of our own interests," and attempted to discuss another topic before eventually giving a more detailed response.
"If he wasn't taking orders, he wouldn't take the interpreter's note," Swalwell said. "If he wasn't taking orders, he would release the report that said he's 100 percent exonerated with – and so why does he act so suspiciously with Russia in ways he doesn't act with Theresa May or [France President Emmanuel] Macron or [Canada Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau?
"All of my experience as a prosecutor tells me something's wrong with the way he's acting, the way that he's lying and that we should all be concerned about it."
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