Angus King: Russia probe ‘a duty,’ not ‘witch hunt’

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Democrats grill Army, Air Force nominees on military funding for border wall Bipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year MORE (I-Maine) says that the federal investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race is “a duty,” not the "witch hunt" that President Trump has described.

“It’s not a witch hunt,” King,who caucuses with Democrats, said Friday on CNN. “I can tell you right now that I’m not going to participate in a witch hunt.”

“If the facts demonstrate what President Trump said, that there was no collusion, no interaction between his campaign and the Russians during the period of the summer of 2016, I’ll sign the report," he added.


"But right now we don’t know that, and we have a duty to dig into it. This was an attack on our democracy and that’s the reality.”

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller had accepted an appointment as the Russia probe’s special counsel.

Trump on Thursday denounced the appointment as another development in a meaningless investigation.

“Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt,” he said. “I think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things.”

“There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign. But I can always speak for myself and the Russians. Zero.”

Trump earlier Thursday tweeted that the appointment of a special counsel into the Russia probe is “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.”