‘I think that certainly he was helped by the Russian propaganda, but I think Russia was just generally trying to hurt everybody,’ Rooney said.
One Republican on the House Intelligence Committee said he wanted its Russia investigation to shut down because it has “lost all credibility” shortly after its announcement on Monday that it had found no evidence of Russia colluding with President Donald Trump‘s campaign during the 2016 election.
“I think that certainly he was helped by the Russian propaganda, but I think Russia was just generally trying to hurt everybody,” Rooney said, later adding after being pressed about Russia’s preference for Trump: “I certainly think there is evidence of that. I don’t know that necessarily there was a full-fledged campaign to do everything that they could to help elect Donald Trump. I think that their goal was chaos.”
"We've gone completely off the rails, and now we're just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day's news. … We've lost all credibility" – Rep. Tom Rooney on the Republican decision to end the House Russia investigation https://t.co/6G7SgZbcoT pic.twitter.com/WXWt0Iaquv
— CNN (@CNN) March 13, 2018
On Monday night the House Intelligence Committee said they will release a 150-page report of their findings to committee Democrats on Tuesday. The House’s findings contradict the assessment of U.S. intelligence officials who said Russia preferred Trump.
Mueller’s indictment of several Russian nationals and organizations connected to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll farm” that spread misinformation on social media ahead of the election also made it clear that they were intent on “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump… and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
Rooney also said the House Committee has “lost all credibility” by not releasing the findings before the 2018 midterm elections.
“We’ve gone completely off the rails, and now we’re just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day’s news,” he said. “We’ve lost all credibility, and we’re going to issue probably two different reports, unfortunately. So in that regard, that’s why I called for the investigation to end.”
You can read about Rooney’s interview with CNN here.