After his colleagues across the aisle, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., included, used a House Financial Services Committee hearing with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to broach the issue of Russian collusion, Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., stepped up to the microphone to debunk their narrative tying only Republicans to Moscow.
"I just would like to note that it was not Rex Tillerson who set the reset button with Russia, that was actually Hillary Clinton, with the stupid little button that she pushed," Duffy said roughly one hour into the three hour hearing on Thursday. "It was Romney who said that Russia was the greatest threat, but it was Barack Obama who said the 1980s want their foreign policy back."
"And it was Bill Clinton who received a half million dollars for a speech … " Duffy said, before being cut off by Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., who objected to his comments. Duffy continued to say, "it wasn't Melania Trump who received a half a million dollars for a speech to an investment company that was tied to the Kremlin," referring to remarks former President Bill Clinton delivered in 2010.
Turning his attention to Mnuchin, Duffy asked, "As my friends are talking about Russia across the aisle, do you have any idea what's being talked about in Wisconsin today?" The secretary responded, "Thirteen thousand new jobs and a ten-billion dollar investment from Foxconn to build the most advanced manufacturing plant in the United States."
Duffy replied, "We're talking about jobs. We're talking about economic growth. We're talking about industries that my friends across the aisle, they had written off. They had said, ‘these jobs will never come back, they're gone forever.' And under your boss and my governor, to your point, a ten-billion dollar investment and three to thirteen thousand jobs in the great state of Wisconsin. That's what people care about."
Later in the day, the Wisconsin congressman stopped by the Washington Examiner office for an editorial board interview where he elaborated on that point. "The whole Russia thing, unless you're a hardened leftist, people don't give a shit," Duffy said. "They don't believe it, they don't buy into it. They're like, ‘Enough on Russia.'"
"[Jobs] are what people care about," the fourth-term Republican added.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.