Dem senator: Trump administration 'afraid' of Russia investigation

Dem senator: Trump administration 'afraid' of Russia investigation
© Greg Nash

A top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday that it looks like President Trump is trying to thwart the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, based on his actions and statements following the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

 “The president actions and his statement lends to that appearance,” Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerOur national parks need updates; Congress can help Overnight Cybersecurity: New questions about 'ransomware' attack | Tensions between NSA chief, Trump over Russia | Senate panel asks states to publicize election hacks Senate panel to get Comey memos: report MORE (D-Va.) told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

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“But again the president and this administration said that ‘there’s no there, there,’ continues through their actions to indicate that they are afraid of where this investigation may head,” he said.

Warner, a senior member of the committee leading the investigation, said his committee fully intends to continue its investigation, wherever it may lead.

“Now I do not know fully what was in the president’s mind but I do know this: that this Senate Intelligence Committee is going to pursue this investigation to whatever the intel and facts,” the Democrat senator said.

Warner said he felt reassured when Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said the FBI would also pursue its investigation.

Warner said McCabe pledged to tell the committee if the White House attempted to influence the investigation in any way.

Trump fired Comey last week amid an ongoing investigation into whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russian officials to sway the election in Trump’s favor. The president has repeatedly denied there was collusion. Trump has also said he wants the Russia probe to go forward.

Warner on Sunday, however, questioned the timing of Comey’s firing, which was days before he was scheduled to testify in front of the Senate committee, as well as Trump's changing reasons for firing the director.

"The dots seem to be fairly obviously connected that there’s a lot more smoke here, but I’m trying to give the president the benefit of the doubt until we finish this investigation," Warner said.