Rep. Chris Stewart said Tuesday that President Donald Trump should not be held responsible for those associated with his campaign who have been indicted for lying to Congress. Additionally, Stewart accused former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Clapper of intentionally lying to the House Intelligence Committee.
Stewart was asked on MSNBC buy Katy Tur about the indictment of longtime Trump associate Roger Stone for lying to Congress. Stewart said the accusations against Stone occurred more than year after he left the campaign.
“How can any individual be held accountable for actions that someone else does that they do a year and a half after their association with the president has ended?” said Stewart. “If that’s true, Mr. Trump is pretty much accountable to thousands of people all over the country, who he’s known, but years later they do something wrong he doesn’t know about.”
Stewart was asked why he thought so many people in Trump’s orbit have lied when it comes to the Russia investigation. Instead of answering, he deflected and accused former DNI director Clapper and former FBI director James Comey of intentionally lying under oath.
Stewart: “There were others we know were dishonest before the committee. Former DNI, Mr. Clapper, said some things that weren’t true. We know the former FBI Director (Cohen) has said some things that weren’t true.”
Tur: ” I think the comparison you’re making is a bit unfair. Speaking — misspeaking in a committee hearing and then going back and correcting your testimony is, I think, a bit different than Roger Stone, you know, saying, I have no text message or documentation. I was never in contact with anybody from Wikileaks, never tried to do that. And then there’s a ton of e-mails and text messages. Or Michael Cohen saying, hey, listen, we weren’t doing any work on a Trump Tower Moscow while the president was campaigning to be president of the United States and on favorable policies towards Russia. And they actually were doing quite a bit of work, up through or up until October of 2016. I mean, those are — the scale of which you’re — they’re different.”
Stewart: “I would start with this premise. It’s never okay. It’s not okay once, it’s not okay twice, it’s not okay seven or nine times.”
Tur: “Are you saying that former FBI director and everybody intended to lie? That they purposefully lied?”
Stewart: “Absolutely, they did. This wasn’t some kind of misstatement that they came back a half hour later and said, oh, by the way, let me correct that. There was absolutely intent to deceive there. There’s no question about that. Now, you might say it’s okay for them to do it, because they’re on my team, or you might say, it’s okay for them to do it, because they only did it twice or three times, I think it’s never okay. And I don’t care what team they’re on. You don’t lie to the Congress. You don’t lie to these people when you’re under oath. I don’t think it’s ever okay.”