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. 

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"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 ClintonThorny part of obstruction of justice is proving intent, that's a job for Congress Nadler: I don't understand why Mueller didn't charge Donald Trump Jr., others in Trump Tower meeting Kellyanne Conway: Mueller didn't need to use the word 'exoneration' in report MORE's missing emails. 

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

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDem lawmaker: 'Quite clear' Trump committed impeachable offenses Cummings on impeachment: 'We may very well come to that' Democrats should be careful wielding more investigations MORE (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersMembers spar over sexual harassment training deadline Reparations bill wins new momentum in Congress Overnight Health Care: Pelosi asks how to pay for single-payer | Liberal groups want Dems to go bigger on drug prices | Surprise medical bill legislation could come soon 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.”