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 TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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 ClintonDemocrats battle for Hollywood's cash The House Judiciary Committee's fundamental choice Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire 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.Donald (Don) John TrumpWhite House calls Democratic witness's mentioning of president's youngest son 'classless' Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Top Democrats knock Trump on World AIDS Day 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 OmarSanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump Al Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles 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 ManafortGiuliani draws attention with latest trip to Ukraine GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP fantasies about Ukrainian election 'interference' blow up Trump's impeachment defense MORE, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDemocrat calls for investigation of possible 'inappropriate influence' by Trump in border wall contract Judge temporarily halts construction of a private border wall in Texas Mueller witness linked to Trump charged in scheme to illegally funnel money to Clinton campaign MORE and a Russian lawyer who promised compromising information on Clinton for possible links to Russia's election interference efforts that year.