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 TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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 ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants 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 TrumpHouse chairman: Trump lawyers may have given false info about Cohen payments Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump dismisses Ann Coulter after criticism: 'I hardly know her' 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 OmarDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Business, conservative groups slam Trump’s national emergency declaration Trump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union 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 ManafortMake the special counsel report public for the sake of Americans Paul Manafort should not be sentenced to 20 years in prison Mueller recommends Manafort serve at least 19 years in prison MORE, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE and a Russian lawyer who promised compromising information on Clinton for possible links to Russia's election interference efforts that year.