Kaine defends ‘oppo research’ that resulted in Trump dossier: We all do it

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineBarrett seen as a front-runner for Trump Supreme Court pick Biden promises Democratic senators help in battleground states Second GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus MORE (D-Va.), who ran as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina MORE’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election, dismissed criticism of the campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for assisting the funding of a controversial and unverified dossier on President Trump, noting all campaigns conduct opposition research on their rivals.

“If you’re asking about the dossier, that was funded by a conservative online publication, Washington Free Beacon,” Kaine told CNN’s “New Day.”

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The Washington Free Beacon confirmed last week that it originally began funding the research endeavor that produced the dossier, which alleges ties between Trump and Russia.

The Washington Post had previously reported that the DNC and the Clinton campaign helped pay for the dossier in a transaction routed through a law firm working for the campaign and the committee.

Kaine on Tuesday argued that opposition research, which is typically conducted by campaigns on their opponents, is common practice.

“But we all do oppo research. Every candidate does oppo research on their opponent. You can ask any candidate for office, they do it,” he said. “And hiring a firm to do oppo research is pretty common practice. That’s not any evidence of collusion. That’s what’s done.”