Tags: Donald Trump | NSA/Surveillance | Russia | Mark Warner | investigation | leaks | Senate

Sen. Mark Warner Calls for Investigation Into All Leaks

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 02:42 PM

All leaks concerning Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election should be investigated, as there is no way to know how many people associated with President Donald Trump "may have had contacts" with outside interests, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Tuesday.

"We know the Russians intervened, and they hacked leaks of information to help Trump over [Hillary] Clinton," Warner told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "We know they had 1,000 internet trolls working to create ways to take over search engines and put out fake news.

"We have the FBI director confirming something I have known, there are a series of investigations into people affiliated with Mr. Trump that have some kind of ties with the Russians."

In the meantime, he said, the White House is "tweeting these distractions," which have "become actually destructive because it's in a sense, destructive to the presidency."

Leaks led to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak becoming public, after their conversations were picked up on and revealed, but Warner said he is not sure how Flynn's name became unmasked.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from cases dealing with the campaign, Warner said, and Flynn himself "may not have disclosed an earlier filing when he was an agent for the Turkish government."

Warner said he wonders where the controversy will end.

"Think back to Watergate," he said. "That was a bungled break-in to one file cabinet. Here, we are talking about a foreign power massively interfering in our election. Who knows how many people the president may have had contacts. The numbers go up every week in terms of press reports."

The Senate Intelligence Committee, where Warner serves as the top-ranking Democrat, will hold its first public hearing next week, and he said its members believe it is important to show not just what Russia did to the United States, but also to Europe.

"We are going and starting interviewing people right now," Warner said. "We have a number of the names you have talked about. We saw in the case of [Roger] Stone, for example, he hit the trifecta. He had been in contact with WikiLeaks. He knew about [John] Podesta being 'in the barrel,' and he acknowledged recently, he had contact with a Russian agent."

Warner also Tuesday said he was "astonished" by Trump's tweets accusing former President Barack Obama of being behind wiretapping activities at Trump Tower.

"The House committee and the Senate committee, we gave him two weeks," Warner said. "He's the president, I owe him that respect. Then the House committee, Democrat and Republican, the Senate committee, Democrat and Republican, said we have seen absolutely no evidence."

And with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers also testifying on Monday they have not seen evidence, it is time for Trump to apologize to Obama and move on, Warner said.

"He's got a healthcare bill, he's got a number of other things," Warner said. "Candidly, he ought to be concerned, and we all ought to be concerned where the next investigation heads as there are a host of people around the president that have a cloud over them."

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Politics
All leaks concerning Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election should be investigated, as there is no way to know how many people associated with President Donald Trump "may have had contacts" with outside interests, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said.
Mark Warner, investigation, leaks, Senate
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2017-42-21
Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 02:42 PM
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