Attorney General Jeff Sessions' upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee testimony should be made publicly, as it won't likely be about national security issues, Sen. Angus King said Monday.
"The only reason you go into a closed session is if it's national security, and I don't believe we're talking about national security issues here," the Maine independent senator tols "CBS This Morning" program.
"If we get into national security issues, we can cut off that line of questions and defer it to a closed setting."
King said there are several things the committee, to which he belongs, wants to examine, including Sessions' contacts, if any, with Russian officials during President Donald Trump's campaign, and if Sessions had anything to do with Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.
When Comey was fired, King pointed out, Sessions had already recused himself from the Russia investigation.
"To the extent the Comey firing had something to do with the investigation, I think that's an area we need to explore," said King.
The senator would not comment on reports that Comey told the Intelligence Committee, during a closed session following his public testimony last Thursday that Sessions may have had a third meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 election.
"As you know, Mr. Comey, Director Comey, said we need to talk about some of these things in closed session, so I can't confirm whether there were other meetings," said King.
"I think that's obviously one of the things we want to ask Mr. Sessions"
King said, though, that he would not agree with those calling Comey's testimony last week a "diversion."
"It's certainly an important issue, but the real issue here is what the Russians did," said King. "They attacked us . . . They knew what they were doing, and not only did they get into emails and released emails and try to influence the election, they were also poking and prodding in state election systems, and they're going to be back."
King said he does not know why Trump has not spoken out the way Comey has, and the way he has himself.
"I thought that was one of the most disturbing moments in the hearing with James Comey last week was when Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia asked him that question about in those nine interactions with the president, did he ever express any interest in what the Russians did, how they did it, how we know they did it, what their plans are," said King.
"The answer was, 'no, zero,' and that's very disturbing."
Trump has "sort of denigrated" the idea of Russian involvement," and that's worrisome, said King.
"He's commander in chief, the country is under attack, and he's acting like this is all personal," the senator said. "This is a serious matter, and I wish he would sit down with the intelligence community and really absorb what was done here and the significance of it."
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