In what looked awfully like the digital equivalent of yelling, Donald Trump reacted to the House Intelligence Committee's findings regarding possible collusion between his presidential campaign in 2016 and Russia. Trump, who has consistently denied all allegations of collaboration, took to Twitter on Monday night after the committee shared its conclusions through one of its member, Texas Rep. Mike Conaway.
In full caps, Trump tweeted,
THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14-MONTH-LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
On Monday, Conaway released a public statement: "We found no evidence of collusion, and so we found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings. We found no evidence of any collusion of anything people were actually doing, other than taking a meeting they shouldn't have taken or just inadvertently being in the same building."
The House Intelligence Committee also included New York Republican Rep. Pete King and Florida Rep. Tom Rooney.
According to Conaway, the committee will present a 150-page-long report to Democrats in order for evaluation. In response to the committee's announcement, Democrats like California Rep. Adam Schiff have said that they will continue to probe possible coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia "with or without the active participation of the Majority." On Monday night, Schiff said, "Republicans will be held accountable for abandoning a critical investigation of such vital national importance."
On Twitter, Schiff said, "GOP just shut down House Intel investigation, leaving questions unanswered, leads unexplored, countless witnesses uncalled, subpoenas unissued. If Russians have leverage over the President, GOP has decided that it would rather not know. The minority's work continues."
Both Trump and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, deny any kind of coordination with each other during the 2016 presidential race. In fact, Putin has gone as far as saying in December, 2017 that the disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of whether Trump did or did not do it, was causing "damage" to United States' domestic politics.
There are seemingly, however, two schools of theories when it comes to the Russia-Trump controversy. While Republicans do not believe Trump collaborated with Russia in 2016, some of them do fear that the Kremlin meddled with the American elections during that year. Democrats, on the other hand, firmly believe that not only did Trump's campaign coordinate with the Kremlin in 2016, it also meddled in the American election.
Shortly after announcing the key findings from its probe, Conaway said, "We will now be moving into the next phase of this investigation, working with the minority on a report to give the American people answers to the questions they’ve been asking for over a year. With the 2018 primary elections already underway and just 238 days until the midterm elections in November, it’s important that we give the American people the information they need to arm themselves against Russian attempts to influence our elections."
While Trump may be feeling wonderful about the House Intelligence Committee's findings, his Democrat rivals are not satisfied with Conaway's conclusion and have vowed to continue their search. According to USA Today, some Democrats worry that the House Intelligence Committee did not carry an in-depth probe into critical documents and interviews. The committee claims, however, that it went over a reported 300,000 documents and 73 interviews.
On Twitter, Rep. Schiff responded to the Republican committee's decision and said, "By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its action harshly."