Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, walked back her claim on Thursday that seemed to confirm the existence of compromising tapes of President Donald Trump with Russian prostitutes without providing any evidence.
The congresswoman’s office released a clarification on Thursday after she said on MSNBC earlier in the day that the sex allegations inan unverified dossier claiming that Russia has compromising information about Trump were “absolutely true.”
An aide to Waters said that she had not leaked any classified or new information.
"She wasn't talking about anything that's not already in the public domain," the aide said, adding that Waters — a harsh critic of the Trump administration — was attempting to refer to her support of an investigation into the ties between Trump associates and Russia during the presidential election.
“We already know that the part about the coverage that they have on him with sex actions is supposed to be true,” Waters said in an appearance on MSNBC. "They have said that that's absolutely true. Some other things they kind of allude to."
Waters was referring to a 35-page memo compiled byformer British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that claimed the Russian government worked to cultivate Trump for five years and obtained compromising information about the president.
The dossier was originally prepared as part of opposition research for Republicans opposed to Trump and later passed through Democratic hands. The FBI attempted to make a deal with the former MI-6 agent for the memo’s information in October, NBC News confirmed.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is now considering requesting testimony from the former British spy as it investigates whether Trump associates helped Russia in its attempts to influence the presidential election via hacking.
Waters also raised eyebrows during her MSNBC appearance, stating that she believed that any investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia would lead to the president's impeachment.
“I think that if we do the investigations that we will find the connections and I do think that impeachment will be necessary,” Waters said.