President Donald Trump is not going out of his way to undermine the White House's message, but his tweets are damaging, Sen. Angus King said Tuesday.
"I think he's being himself and communicating that the danger is that he's making policy almost inadvertently," the Maine independent told CNN's "New Day" program. "I had been governor 20 years ago about a month when a friend said you have to be careful when you are having lunch or walking down the hall, you can verbally make policy."
When one is president, King continued, "you can't just say what is on your mind at that particular moment. I think this is a significant problem for the administration to then say 'don't mind what this man is saying over there, you know, 'Wizard of Oz', don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain.'"
King, appearing later on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" program, offered comment about the Notre Dame Cathedral terror attack, saying such incidents are the ones that "give everyone nightmares" as there is no plot and nothing to intercept.
"This appears to be a lone-wolf attack, where someone is self-radicalized," King told Mitchell. "It is impossible to know the motivation; it is very hard to prevent something like this in a free society. The only way to be fully secure is to lock everybody down and I don't think any of us want to live in North Korea."
Part of the issue is that people are being radicalized on the Internet, but King that with the United States having the First Amendment, that means free speech is protected.
"You can't shut down websites, take down the Internet, or censor television commentary," said King. "For that reason, a lot of what we have to do is be smarter about what we're hearing and learning, and try to understand it better."
It is difficult for law enforcement to get a handle on people who self radicalize, said King, but the "FBI, for my knowledge, is doing an amazing job nationwide of dealing with these kind of threats.
"Fortunately, most of them don't happen, but this is a situation where if you're only 99 percent efficient, you still have a tragedy," said King.
Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, and King said he would be surprised if Comey shares information in public about the the underlying investigation into Russian meddling in the election.
However, King said he does believe Comey will give direct answers, and he disagreed with a contention from Trump and his family that the matter is nothing more than a "witch hunt."
"I'm not sure this is a witch hunt," said King. "One of those young guys, I think Donald Jr., publicly said the majority of funding coming into our company right now is from Russia. If that's a fact, if they're right, give us data, give us the tax returns, let us see the information to verify."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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