GOP Rep. Tom Reed Bends Over Backward To Deny Manafort Collusion

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January 9, 2019 1:47 p.m.

No collusion!

That was Rep. Tom Reed’s (R-NY) reaction when asked about the revelation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared internal campaign data with a Russian associate — reportedly with instructions to pass it along to pro-Russia Ukrainian oligarchs Manafort had worked with. The New York Times initially reported that Manafort wanted the data sent to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, but issued a correction to that reporting. Manafort instructed the information be sent to Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, both of whom Manafort had worked with.

“You don’t consider this evidence of collusion or possible collusion?” CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked Reed.

“I don’t see that, Brianna. “I don’t see that just because Manafort is potentially, allegedly dealing with this situation. We need conclusions and evidence to be brought forward, and that’s why Mueller needs to complete this investigation and bring that evidence. If he has that, bring it forward, and let’s let the chips fall where they may,” Reed said.

“Is that OK to share internal polling data with Russians and ask that it go to a Russian that you owe millions of dollars to?” Keilar asked.

“Well, you know, I’ll defer to whether Paul Manafort thought that was correct or not –” Reed said.

“Do you think that’s correct?” Keilar interjected.

“Obviously I wasn’t involved in that,” Reed said. “As to what folks did during a campaign, I’ll let them answer for that.”

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