former Republican congressman and retired FBI agent Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) told CNN on Saturday that he’s deeply skeptical of President Donald Trump and his administration’s defense of a June 9 meeting with Kremlin-aligned lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and a Russian-born lobbyist.
Trump’s surrogates have taken to the line of defense that political opposition research is a normal thing that all campaigns do.
“We should not normalize this,” Rogers told CNN anchor Ana Cabrera. Russia is “a hostile intelligence service to the United States. Most people know that. If the Russian government calls and says, ‘Hey, we have information on your opponent,’ the first reaction should not be and we should not normalize this behavior. Opposition research is a real thing and it happens in politics every day.”
However, he said, “this is very different and we should not normalize it.”
Cabrera asked if the Trump family’s relative inexperience in politics and naïvete should be considered when examining their handling of the Russian contact.
“Listen, I don’t buy that argument as a former FBI agent. i’m not buying it. if you’ve been in the business world and you understand how all that works, a foreign government contacts you and says I have information, that should have sent up a red flag all day long.”