Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-IL, said Friday that President Trump’s assertion that “many people” would have taken the meeting with a Russian lawyer as his son Donald Trump Jr. had.
“No, absolutely not,” Kinzinger said in response to a question of whether he would have taken the meeting with the Russian attorney who promised damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Kinzinger said if he were approached, he would have taken the information directly to the FBI.
“I, frankly, if it happened to me, would call the FBI and say, ‘Hey, this government or that government is offering information — do you want me to take this meeting as counterespionage or something?'” Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger said Democrats are going too far by saying the meeting constituted “treason.”
“There are some on the other side of the aisle who are really hysteric about this,” Kinzinger said. “I’ve heard the word treason. This isn’t treason.”
“On the other hand, to dismiss this, to say anybody would have met with anybody, that may be the case if someone emails you and says, ‘Hey, I have some information on your opponent.’ But when you see it’s from the Russian government, courtesy of your friend Vladimir or whatever, that’s when you hit ‘hard stop’ on that.”
Kinzinger offered some advice for anyone who may end up in a similar situation.
“If you hear that something is provide by a government, even if it’s our friends in Canada or Australia, that’s when you go to the FBI,” he said.
“They usually don’t do it out of the goodness of their heart,” he added. “There’s usually a payback.”