Rep. Maxine Waters Thursday blasted President Donald Trump's response that "nobody that I know of" on his campaign staff had talked with Russia and demanded that news organizations investigate the commander in chief's "Kremlin clan" of present and former top aides.
"That's a legal answer," the California Democrat told Brooke Baldwin on CNN of Trump's response to questions about news reports of staffers having repeated contact with Russia during the presidential campaign.
"That's the kind of answer a lawyer will give you to say when they don't want you to admit something," she added. "You give yourself an out because you say 'nobody that I know of.'
"And when you get caught, you can say: 'I didn't lie to you. I said nobody that I knew of and I didn't know of at the time.'
"That's just a way to get around answering the question," Waters said.
In a White House news conference, President Trump said that "nobody that I know of" on his campaign staff had dealings with Russian officials before the November election as he slammed recent reports to the contrary by The New York Times and CNN.
The president said that he also had not been in touch with anyone from Moscow.
"Not that I wouldn't" call anyone in Russia, President Trump said, "I just have nobody to speak to."
"This president simply does not tell the truth," Waters told Baldwin. "What he tries to do is deflect the press from talking about the real issues by coming up with another issue.
"Now, he wants to make the issue the fact that there have been leaks," she continued. "There have been leaks since there was a government, but that's not the issue at this time.
"I'm so pleased that the press is not letting him get away with deflecting away from whether or not there was contacts to Russia during his campaign.
"I believe there was."
She told Baldwin that the press must "drill down in order to come up with the information and the facts.
"I think that leads to collusion," Waters said. "I continue to say that I believe there was collusion."
The congresswoman then called on the media to investigate what she called President Trump's "Kremlin clan" and its dealings with Russia.
Waters identified them as retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday as national security adviser over his Russian conversations; former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has had business dealings in Russia and Ukraine; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had longstanding ties to Moscow when he was CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp.; Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who also has business dealings in the Kremlin; and former campaign adviser Roger Stone, who has denied having contacts with the country's officials.
"All of them," Waters said.
"We are, congresswoman," Baldwin said. "We are."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.