Blumenthal: Trump-tied data firm reaching out to WikiLeaks ‘significant’

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Thursday it is "significant" that a data research firm tied to the Trump campaign reportedly reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 election.

"It is significant because it demonstrates evidence of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian interference," Blumenthal told CNN's Anderson Cooper. 


"Here we have more evidence of a pattern that has been established of collusion and perhaps of obstruction of justice," Blumenthal continued, referring to the president's repeated claims that probes into alleged collusion are a "hoax."

Blumenthal's comments come after The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that the head of Cambridge Analytica, which was affiliated with the Trump campaign, contacted Assange about finding former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump can save Republicans and restore sanity to California in 2018 Breitbart News denies readership drop, alt-right label Mellman: The next war MORE's missing emails. 

Assange confirmed in a tweet Wednesday that WikiLeaks was approached by the firm.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: What to expect in omnibus | HIV expert to head CDC | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases Coherent strategy needed beyond limited sanctions to counter Russian aggression House Oversight Dems: GOP blocking request for Trump admin records MORE (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersMet opera fires conductor after sexual misconduct probe Keith Ellison calls for Dems to support medicare for all Overnight Health Care: Conservatives brace for ObamaCare payments in funding bill | FDA chief blames 'rigged' system for drug costs | Ellison replaces Conyers on Dem single-payer bill MORE Jr. (Mich.), the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, announced Thursday they sent a letter to various former consultants for the Trump campaign to look into whether they colluded with the Russians in their attempts to influence the election.

Cambridge Analytica is among the companies included in the letter, as well as Giles-Parscale, TargetPoint Consulting, The Data Trust and Deep Root Analytics.

"As we assess legislation that addresses whether American businesses directly engaged with known hostile foreign actors such as Wikileaks, cooperated with foreign governments, or used misappropriated data, it is important we understand what happened," Cummings and Conyers wrote. 

The Trump campaign operation appeared to distance itself from the data mining firm Wednesday after the report that its leader sought contact with Assange. Trump campaign aide Michael Glassner said in a statement that the 2016 campaign relied on the Republican National Committee and its data experts “as our main source for data analytics.”