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Sen. Angus King: Many Questions Remain on Trump Nominees

MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports"

By    |   Monday, 09 Jan 2017 03:36 PM

Independent Sen. Angus King still has many questions concerning President-elect Donald Trump's nominees as confirmation proceedings commence, but he's not prepared to take firm positions concerning anybody until he sees their paperwork.

"By the way, we shouldn't really use that term paperwork, because that implies that it's not important," the Maine senator, who caucuses with Democrats, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on her noon cable news program. "What we're really talking about are background investigations, which can be very important."

King said he fears that if the nominations are pushed through quickly and before background checks or financial information is available, that could be dangerous, and he believes "we ought to be taking enough time to have that material in hands so it can inform the confirmation process."

Many of the nominees have complicated backgrounds, King continued, and the question is about just how complicated those backgrounds are in relation to foreign countries and interests.

"Nobody is trying to filibuster or slow down or be vindictive here," said King. "It's really a question of our ability to do our job based upon the information, the longstanding protocol of a FBI background check, and to require various financial disclosures.

The fundamental question, King continues, is whether that information should be in hand before lawmakers vote.

"As a person who votes I don't want to cast a vote for somebody and find something in a record that would be disqualifying," said King. "I think we are moving it rather fast. The number of hearings this week, they overlap."

King said he has colleagues that are on different committees that are holding important confirmation hearings at the same time.

"Particularly, I agree we ought to get the national security team in place, perhaps that could be the priority but I think slowing it down, just to be sure that we have all of the information necessary makes a lot of sense," said King.

Meanwhile, Trump will be inaugurated in less than two weeks, said King, and there are still questions about reports from the intelligence community about Russia's involvement in cyber hacking during the election.

"This isn't about delegitimizing the election," King insisted. "It's about understanding what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it in the future."

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Independent Sen. Angus King still has many questions concerning President-elect Donald Trump's nominees as confirmation proceedings commence, but he's not prepared to take firm positions concerning anybody until he sees their paperwork.
angus king, questions, trump, nominees
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2017-36-09
Monday, 09 Jan 2017 03:36 PM
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