“I’m convinced there’s almost nothing there.”
That’s what Congressman Kevin Cramer told me during an interview earlier today referring to the swirling accusations that President Donald Trump’s campaign was in cahoots with the Russians, and that he and Trump “talked a lot” about the matter during a meeting this week before that contentious press conference.
I had Cramer on my radio show for the first of what will be a weekly open phones town hall segment. Usually we’ll do them on Wednesdays, but this week (and next week) Friday was that day that worked out.
The “almost” in Cramer’s answer to the Russia question was a reference to well-known ties between some of Trump’s people and Russia, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort who worked for a firm with ties to Russian interests.
But Cramer called at least some of the media’s reporting on Trump’s ties to Russia are “made up.”
“Most of us feel…he shouldn’t let those distractions get in the way,” Cramer told me, referring to a group of Trump’s supporters. “Even he needs to let some of that stuff go,” he continued adding that he’s not concerned about the issue.
As for the press conference, I asked Cramer why Trump so often says things to the press that are demonstrably untrue, such as his false claims about his Electoral College victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“Part of it is his frustration with the intense coverage of things that don’t matter,” Cramer said, adding that that it prompts Trump to “defend things that don’t matter.”
He also said that some of it is just “Trump being Trump.”
Here’s the full audio. Cramer also talked briefly about legislation to create national reciprocity for concealed carry permits and on-going deregulation efforts in Congress.