If President-elect Donald Trump got any advice from Russians who hacked into the Democratic National Committee or Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, he should be impeached, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., insisted Monday night.
Waters, who was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, implied that Trump did not need to be in office to be impeached.
Waters began her interview by defending fellow black legislator Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who has said he does not view Trump as a legitimate president and will not attend Trump’s inauguration. Waters, who is also not attending Trump’s inauguration, and Lewis both skipped the ceremonies for former President George W. Bush as well.
On Monday, Waters tried to explain her concerns that Trump was getting ideas from someone who could possibly have contacted Russian hackers. She insisted that Trump was not a legitimate president because of Russia’s hacking into Democratic computer systems.
“When John talked about him being illegitimate, he talked about the fact about whether or not the Russians did play a role in determining what happened in our elections and also I think John was talking about there are going to be more investigations to determine whether or not Trump or his advocates — people associated with him on his staff on the campaign — whether or not there was some collusion, exchanges of information, and whether or not they were strategizing together and I think that’s what he was trying to describe,” Water said.
Waters said objections to Trump have nothing to do with how democracy functions in America.
“Other people are trying to talk about this democracy and whether or not once you question whether someone’s legitimate that you are questioning whether or not the democracy works. People, you know, don’t want it to be that you’re deciding that somehow the electoral system doesn’t work, the democracy doesn’t work, etcetera,” she said.
Waters made it clear she believes that despite explanations that the Russians had no direct involvement in the election, that Clinton lost because of Russian hacking.
“… we know that the Russians played an important role and they tried to support Mr. Trump and they tried to make sure that Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected. So I think that’s a legitimate discussion,” she said.
Matthews then asked Waters to explain her point about collusion between Trump and someone from his staff who might have communicated with someone from Russia.
“Well here’s what I’m trying to get to. If we discover that Donald Trump or his advocates played a role to help provide strategy — if they’re the ones who came up with ‘Crooked Hillary,’ if they’re the ones who came up with, ‘She’s ill, something’s wrong with her energy,’ and the way that he basically described her during the campaign — I think that is something that would put the question squarely on the table whether or not he should be impeached,” Waters said.
“So, you think you can commit an impeachable offense before you take office?” Matthews asked.
Waters did not directly answer.
“Well, I think that at the point that investigations discover and confirm and can document any of that role in helping to strategize — they had a role in attempting to determine the outcome,” she said.
“That in many ways they used the information they got when they hacked into emails etc. — if that was used against Hillary Clinton in some way, yes I think that’s impeachable,” she said.
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