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 TrumpAverage tax refunds down double-digits, IRS data shows White House warns Maduro as Venezuela orders partial closure of border with Colombia Trump administration directs 1,000 more troops to Mexican border 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 ClintonDem strategist says Clinton ‘absolutely’ has a role to play in 2020 Left-leaning journalist: Sanders would be 'formidable candidate' against Trump Clinton hits EPA for approval of pesticide dump: ‘We need bees!’ 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 TrumpAnother New York condo votes to remove 'Trump' from name Trump's son attacks LGBT magazine op-ed that calls effort to decriminalize homosexuality 'racist' Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise 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 wish civil rights icon John Lewis happy birthday: 'We are stronger because of you' Why Omar’s views are dangerous Omar apologizes to Jewish groups over tweet condemned as anti-Semitic: reports 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 ManafortMueller won't deliver report to Justice Dept. next week New York preps state charges for Manafort in case of a Trump pardon: report Defending the First Amendment, even for Roger Stone MORE, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerFive things to know about Trump confidant Tom Barrack Dems open new front against Trump Dems launch investigation into Trump administration's dealings with Saudi Arabia MORE and a Russian lawyer who promised compromising information on Clinton for possible links to Russia's election interference efforts that year.