Tags: Russia | Trump Administration | angus king | trump | russia | meddling | midterms

Sen. Angus King: Russia Meddling Won't Be Solved Without Trump

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By    |   Wednesday, 14 February 2018 11:25 AM

The United States will not be able to solve the issue of Russian meddling in its elections unless there is a consensus that it happened during the 2016 election, but that will mean that President Donald Trump will need to acknowledge it happened, Sen. Angus King said Thursday.

"I understand the president's concern and sensitivity about whether his campaign was involved," the Maine independent lawmaker told CNN's "New Day."

"That's a different issue and I just wish he could separate the two and announce that he agrees with the view of the intelligence community."

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers,and CIA Director Mike Pompeo all testified Wednesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russian activity aimed at interfering in the upcoming midterm elections has already been seen.

"In their testimony, in their prepared testimony and what they said to the committee, they said what the Russians did was real," said King, a committee member. "It was an attack on our democracy. Most importantly, they're winding up to do it this fall and in 2020."

However, the president's resistance to admit there was interference is affecting the public's reaction, said King.

"I talk to people in Maine, and they say, 'you know, we don't believe this,'" said King. "The president says this is a witch hunt. This is a hoax. It never happened."

As long as Trump holds his ground on his own stance, said King, there will never be a consensus on the issue.

"We are talking about a major attack on our democracy," said King. "This is a place where you need presidential leadership to call the agencies together, to set out a timeline, to set out deadlines, to have interim reports."

The threat is one of the nation's most serious since the 9-11 attacks, he added, and the United States must respond to it.

"I understand the president's reluctance about this," he said. "It affects his election, and I fully understand that. I started my comments yesterday by saying this is more in sorrow than in anger. I'm not berating the president.

"I'm urging the president because I think he can separate these two issues, say to the American people, this was wrong and we're going to deal with it. And it would unify the government and unify the public."

Also on Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray was asked about the issues concerning former staff secretary Rob Porter's security check.

"This isn't about what actually happened and those kind of things," said King of claims of spousal abuse by Porter's two ex-wives.

"This is a high-level official in the White House that has access to classified documents being subject to blackmail. That's why you do security checks."

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Sen. Angus King said the United States will not be able to solve the issue of Russian meddling in its elections unless there is a consensus that it happened during the 2016 election.
angus king, trump, russia, meddling, midterms
Wednesday, 14 February 2018 11:25 AM
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