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GOP lawmaker: I can't '100 percent' say Trump campaign didn't collude with Russia

A House Republican said on Friday he couldn’t “100 percent” rule out President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE and his campaign colluding with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) was asked by Hayes if he could “definitively say ‘I am 100 percent sure the President and his campaign did not engage in a criminal conspiracy with a foreign intelligence apparatus.’"

“No, I cannot,” Lance said, “and that’s why I want to get to the bottom of it.”

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Lance was responding to the meeting between Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer who promised him damaging information on Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBudowsky: Closing message for Democrats Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP mocks Clinton after minor vehicle collision outside Mendendez campaign event MORE during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Republican lawmaker was asked if he takes Trump at his word that he was unaware of the meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer until recently, as the president claimed in an interview last week.

“I hope he’s being accurate and truthful, but certainly Donald Trump Jr. will be asked about that when he comes before the Congress in an open committee hearing,” Lance said.

Trump said in an interview Wednesday with Reuters that he only found out recently about his eldest son’s meeting with the Russian lawyer last summer.

“No, that I didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this,” Trump said when asked if he knew his eldest son was meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Trump Jr.’s meeting with the lawyer has come under intense scrutiny. The meeting was also attended by Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Trump Jr. released an email chain Tuesday showing his correspondence with an entertainment publicist setting up the meeting with Veselnitskaya, who he was told had damaging information onJ Clinton.

Trump's eldest son was told in the emails that the source had "sensitive information" that was "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." He responded in one email, “If it's what you say I love it, especially later in the summer.”