Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said Wednesday that he has not coordinated with the White House on the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.
In a press briefing held with his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Burr was asked if he had worked with the Trump administration to define “the scope of this investigation,” as well as how he planned to prevent it from going off track.
“No, sir, I have not, and it’s the relationship and the trust we have,” Burr replied.
Burr was later asked if he could be trusted to conduct an “impartial and serious investigation” given that he advised the Trump campaign.
“Absolutely,” Burr said, admitting publicly for the first time that he voted for Trump.
“I have a job in the United States Senate. And I take job extremely serious, it overrides any personal beliefs that I have or loyalties that I might have,” he said.
Warner told reporters that his longstanding relationship with Burr and the committee’s strong backing of its leadership have helped ensure that their work has moved forward efficiently.
The two lawmakers repeatedly emphasized the bipartisan efforts of their investigation, setting themselves apart from the chaos that has consumed the House Intelligence Committee.
At the top of the press briefing, Burr instructed reporters not to ask any questions about the House’s investigation, which has fallen into disarray over allegations that Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) is too close to the Trump administration to conduct a credible inquiry.
Nunes briefed President Trump on claims that communications involving him and his transition staffers were incidentally caught up in surveillance of foreign nationals without bringing this information to his own committee.