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Dem senator: 'Putin had something on' Trump which may account for 'plainly false' statements

Dem senator: 'Putin had something on' Trump which may account for 'plainly false' statements
© Greg Nash

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Tuesday said that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin "had something" on President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE, suggesting the Russian leader holds leverage that could account for some of Trump's statements.

The senator called statements made by the president about his son's 2016 Trump Tower meeting to get dirt on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years The Hill's 12:30 Report - Third vaccine candidate with 90% efficacy Biden won — so why did Trump's popularity hit its highest point ever? MORE “plainly false.”

In an appearance on CNN's "New Day," Blumenthal asserted that false statements made by the president were in fact made at the behest of Putin in order to conceal the Trump campaign's contact with the Russian source.

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"The fact is, Putin had something on him," Blumenthal said. "Which may be a reason why he issued a statement about the Trump Tower meeting that was plainly false. Why [Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpMost Republicans in new poll say they'd vote for Trump in 2024 President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Trump has not prepared a concession speech: report MORE's] testimony may well be false insofar as he's saying that 'I didn't tell my father [about the meeting].' "

“Lying to the American people may not be itself breaking the law. But if it’s part of a conspiracy, if it's part of aiding and abetting other actions ... We need to see the full special counsel report, and all that he knows," the senator added.

Blumenthal's comments come just days after another Democrat, Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations MORE (Minn.) was challenged on CNN after she made a similar suggestion about Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who she argued was "somehow compromised" due to his newfound support of the president. 

"He is somehow compromised to no longer stand up for the truth and to make sure he is fighting to protect the oath he took in serving the American people," Omar said of Graham, adding that it was "just an opinion based on what I believe to be visible to me."

The 2016 Trump Tower meeting and subsequent statements referring to it have reportedly become a central peg of the special counsel investigation, which has examined the meeting between Trump Jr., Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHow to combat Putin's financial aggression Like it or not, a Trump self-pardon may be coming soon DOJ veteran says he's quitting over Barr's 'slavish obedience' to Trump MORE, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerPompeo becomes first top US diplomat to visit Israeli settlement, labels boycotts anti-Semitic NYT's Bruni suggests Ivanka Trump, Kushner move to North Korea or Saudi Arabia With Biden, a Saudi reboot MORE and a Russian lawyer who promised compromising information on Clinton for possible links to Russia's election interference efforts that year.