CBSN

White House lawyer Ty Cobb says "collusion" is a term popularized by media

White House attorney Ty Cobb says not only did President Trump not collude with Russia to win the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but the term "collusion" is being misused.

"Is collusion in the federal code?" CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett asked Cobb Wednesday on "The Takeout" podcast.

Listen to this episode on Stitcher

"Nowhere," Cobb responded. "It's an indefinable concept… Typically, you would think of collusion as some quid pro quo, and there are multiple number of federal crimes: bribery, corruption, mail fraud, wire fraud, et cetera. But there is no collusion."

"So when the president says, 'no collusion,' he's denying there's something he could even be prosecuted for?" Garrett posed.

"Well, he's responding to the multiple reports of collusion, which is basically a term the media popularized and has sort of colored this investigation," Cobb said.

But, as Garrett pointed out, the Trump campaign issued a blanket denial of any talks with Russia, just after election day.

Campaign spokesperson, now White House communications director, Hope Hicks, issued this statement on November 11, 2016: "There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign."

That statement was later proven untrue.

In June 2016, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, the president's son and son-in-law, along with campaign manager Paul Manafort met at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. Hicks was scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee Friday, but her testimony has been delayed.