Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, a Republican, says that it is “extraordinarily offensive” for President Donald Trump to argue that collusion is not a crime.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that “collusion is not a crime,” echoing his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who made the claim on Monday morning.
“I find it extraordinarily offensive,” said Whitman, who led the Environmental Protection Agency under former President George W. Bush, on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber” Tuesday evening.
“Frankly, I don’t care whether it’s a crime in the criminal codebook or not,” she added. “It is against the best interests of the United States. You do not collude.”
Giuliani said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends,” “I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime. Collusion is not a crime.”
Although collusion is not listed as a federal crime, a person found collaborating with a foreign government could be charged with conspiracy, among other crimes.
“I am a lifelong Republican,” Whitman wrote in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times last week. “My Republican colleagues — once rightfully critical of President Obama’s engagement strategy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin — have to end their willful ignorance of the damage Trump is doing both domestically and internationally.”
“When you diss our allies in the way he did, treat them the way he did, and then you cozy up to someone like Vladimir Putin who is not our friend,” Whitman said on MSNBC. “He, to my mind, really forgot his oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the U.S. against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
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