Monday, February 27, 2017

Sen. King "deeply troubled" by potential compromise of Russia-Trump probe

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) is "deeply troubled" about revelations that the chairman of the Senate committee probing ties between Russia and the Trump campaign colluded last week with the White House to call reporters and try to talk down recent stories on the issue by the New York Times and CNN. King, as I report in today's Press Herald, is concerned the committee's public trust may have been compromised.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who, like King, serves on the Senate intelligence committee, issued a less direct criticism of the senate chairman's actions, not naming Sen. Burr (R-NC) by name.

Both senators have previously opposed the creation of an independent commission or the appointment of a special prosector to look into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying their committee was the best suited to perform a thorough investigation. As recently as Wednesday, Sen. Collins was pledging that the committee would be "getting to the bottom of this," which I reported in the Press Herald earlier this week.

Collins has also previously said she wanted ex-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to testify, and that she wanted some committee hearings to be public.

This morning, Axios reports White House communications director Sean Spicer personally placed three-party calls between Burr and journalists to try to discredit the unfolding Russia-Trump stories.

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