New Russia investigation chair compared Mexican actors campaigning for Hillary to Russian hackers

'Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada,' Mike Conaway said

Emily Shugerman
New York
Thursday 06 April 2017 20:35 BST
(Flickr/U.S. Department of Agriculture)

The congressman leading the House investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged Kremlin ties, once equated the use of Mexican entertainers to Russian cyber attacks.

"The Democrats brought in Mexican soap opera stars, singers and entertainers who had immense influence in those communities into Las Vegas, to entertain, get out the vote and so forth,” Mike Conaway told The Dallas Morning News in January.

The Texas congressman who took over the House Intelligence Committee investigation from Representative Devin Nunes after he stepped down amid an ethics inquiry into him, added: “Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada. You don’t hear the Democrats screaming and saying one word about that.”

Asked whether the Democrat's use of Mexican entertainers is on par with the Russian hack of Democratic National Committee emails, Mr Conaway said yes.

Leaked during the presidential election, their release was seen as damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

“Sure it is, it’s foreign influence," Mr Conaway said. "If we’re worried about foreign influence, let’s have the whole story."

At the time, his fellow House Intelligence Committee member Joaquin Castro laughed off the statement.

“He knows there’s a big difference between Vicente Fernandez performing at a Hillary Clinton event and Vladimir Putin ordering interference with our elections,” he told reporters.

Mr Conaway did not retract the statement, but in a statement he pledged to “follow every lead to its logical conclusion.”

"We're going to conduct the investigation and I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pursue every lead,” he said.

His fellow Republican and House Speaker Paul Ryan has nonetheless said he believes Mr Conaway “will oversee a professional investigation into Russia's actions and follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Democrat, Eric Swalwell also proclaimed confidence in Mr Conaway’s abilities as well.

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