Senate Intel Chair: It’s Our Duty To Answer If Trump Tied To Russia Meddling

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speak during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, on the Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, and the committee's Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. meet with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, to disc... Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, and the committee's Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. meet with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, to discuss the committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) MORE LESS
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One of the core questions that the Senate Intelligence Committee is currently working to answer is whether President Donald Trump had any role in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, the Republican chairman suggested Wednesday.

At a press briefing, a reporter asked Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) if he had seen any evidence of “direct links” that suggest the “President himself had anything to do with this.”

“We won’t take a snap shot in time and make any observations on it,” Burr replied. “We know that our challenge is to answer that question for the American people in our conclusions to this investigation.”

The Trump administration has denied that this is a question that needs answering, with the President calling allegations that he or his team have connections to Russian operatives “fake news.”

Burr and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) declined an opportunity to “definitively rule out” coordination between Trump staffers and Russian officials, which the FBI, House and Senate are all looking into.

“We would be crazy to try to draw conclusions from where we are in the investigation,” Burr said. “I think Mark and I have committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions. And I would hope that that’s what you would like us to do.”

The two lawmakers said that the committee has seven staffers working on the investigation, and that those staffers are poring through thousands of documents containing raw intelligence.

Their chummy united front presented a stark contrast to the perception problems currently engulfing the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation.

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