Trump’s pick for acting AG said in 2017 interview there was 'no collusion’ between Trump and Russia

Trump’s pick for acting AG said in 2017 interview there was 'no collusion’ between Trump and Russia
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE's pick for acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, declared in a 2017 interview that there was "no collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Daily Beast reported that Whitaker appeared on the Wilkow Majority Show, a syndicated conservative radio program, a short time after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE was appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign," Whitaker said in an interview published to YouTube on June 21, 2017. "There was interference by the Russians into the election, but that was not collusion with the campaign. That’s where the left seems to be just combining those two issues."

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"The last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or even improper relations with the Russians. It’s that simple," he added.

Whitaker was responding to the status of a House Intelligence Committee Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential collusion.

The Daily Beast reported that Whitaker was commenting in his capacity as the executive director of the conservative watchdog group, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).

Whitaker was named acting attorney general on Wednesday after Trump ousted Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRoy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama Trump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' MORE from the role. Whitaker will now be tasked with overseeing the Mueller investigation, and reportedly does not intend to recuse himself.

Whitaker has come under scrutiny since his appointment for opinion pieces he wrote for The Hill and CNN advocating for curbing the scope of the Mueller investigation, and suggesting stifling its funding.

Trump has long railed against the Mueller investigation, repeatedly declaring on Twitter and to reporters that there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russia.

Mueller has to date obtained guilty pleas from four former Trump associates, as well as more than 20 Russians as part of his investigation.