Had there not been public reporting on Michael Flynn, he "might still be the national security adviser today," Sen. Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday, and he wonders if there are "other Michael Flynns" who have not yet been exposed.
"I think it's stunning that Sally Yates had to explain to the White House the problem of having a national security adviser who was compromised, lying internally to his colleagues, and had deep and long connections to the Russians that may allow them to try to turn that their benefit," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Murphy said he believes there is more information coming, and even though there is not yet "direct clear evidence of collusion, we certainly seem to be getting better to that moment."
However, he is not sure yet if Flynn should be offered immunity in exchange for his testimony, because it's not known what he'll be offering.
"I think there is an outstanding question as to whether there are other Michael Flynns," said Murphy. "Are there other individuals inside the White House who have had conversations with the Russians that the White House knows about and they simply haven't been let go only because the public hasn't found out about it?"
During her testimony Monday to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, Yates said she'd warned the White House that Flynn "essentially could be blackmailed" because he apparently had lied to his bosses about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
"The fact the White House didn't understand that I think should remain concerning," Murphy said Tuesday. "The bottom line is that the White House waited until there was public reporting on the fact that Flynn was lying that he had these connections . . . had that not come out in public, Michael Flynn might still be the national security adviser today."
The White House "may have ignored those warnings," the senator continued, "and it speaks to how ethically compromised this entire White House operation remains even today."
Former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, also testifying on Tuesday, said he could not find a straight line of collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, and Murphy agreed that there is not a "smoking gun" when it comes to that.
"It seems that the story is unfolding only in one direction," said Murphy. "Every few weeks we get new evidence that suggests that there was more, not less coordination than we previously thought between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The new element today is you have a few individuals, Michael Flynn amongst them, who might be in serious legal trouble."
The senator also said he believes foreign policy is suffering from the stream of news from Washington.
"What you're seeing around the world is many of our allies and free agents slowly walking away from the United States," said Murphy. "They don't see any consistency in our foreign policy. It's foreign policy by improvisation, and these scandals that continue to unfold don't help."
It also does not help that there is a lack of personnel from the State Department, he said.
"Normally, when something like this happens, you have a high-level state department official going out and talking to world leaders trying to defend the United States," said Murphy.
"We don't have anyone above that level. There's a lot of head scratching about why the United States doesn't have the capacity to defend itself."
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