Senate intel chairman: 'We don't have anything' to prove collusion between Trump campaign and Russia

The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday said his panel has still found no evidence to suggest that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties North Carolina congressman says he won't seek reelection after redistricting Senate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges MORE (R-N.C.) told CBS News on Thursday that "based on the evidence" his committee has seen so far, there is no reason to suggest that members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government were working together during the election.

The committee is preparing to release its final report on 2016 election interference.

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"If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don't have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia," Burr told CBS.

Pointing to a previous statement he made in September asserting that he had seen no "hard evidence" of collusion, Burr said that his past statement was "accurate with everything we've accumulated since then."

The House Intelligence Committee concluded its parallel probe last year. Republicans on the committee also said there was no evidence of collusion, but Democrats on the committee disputed the conclusion.

Burr added that his committee's results were unlikely to persuade hardliners on the right or the left, but said that he hoped those in the middle who have not yet made up their minds about whether or not President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE's campaign colluded with Russia would be satisfied with the panel's results.

"I'm speaking to what I hope is the 60 percent in the middle that are saying, 'Give me the facts that I need to make a determination in this one particular instance — what happened.' And that's what our focus is," he said.

The chairman made similar comments in January when asked by The Hill about his committee's investigation so far, while dismissing reports claiming that former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Richard Gates's probation request Former FBI general counsel wants apology from Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE's shared polling data from the campaign with former business associates in Ukraine.

“When I finish, I’ll make a judgment,” Burr said, “Based upon the information that I have seen today, I don’t see evidence of collusion.”

“If sharing polling data with your former partner in political races in the Ukraine is collusion, then I guess it is. I don’t perceive it as collusion,” he added at the time.

Manafort, who plead guilty last year to financial crimes related to his lobbying work in Ukraine, is set to be sentenced on March 5.