Angus King: Russia's election interference one of most serious attacks on US since 9/11

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems raise stakes with talk of 'constitutional crisis' Hillicon Valley: Regulators press Congress on privacy bill | Americans mimic Russian disinformation tactics ahead of 2020 | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders back Uber strike | GOP senator targets 'manipulative' video games Sen King, Rep Gallagher to chair bipartisan commission to defend US in cyberspace MORE (I-Maine) said Wednesday that Russia’s effort to interfere in the U.S. election is “one of the most serious attacks” on the nation since Sept. 11, 2001. 

“This is a serious threat,” King told CNN’s “New Day.” “It’s one of the most serious attacks on our country since Sept. 11.”

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The remark from King comes after Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsHillicon Valley: Facebook co-founder calls for breaking up company | Facebook pushes back | Experts study 2020 candidates to offset 'deepfake' threat | FCC votes to block China Mobile | Groups, lawmakers accuse Amazon of violating children's privacy Experts are studying mannerisms of 2020 candidates to help offset threat of 'deepfake' videos Bolton held unexpected meeting on Iran with top intel, military advisers at CIA: report MORE testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that he has “no doubt” Russia views the upcoming midterm elections as a possible target of "influence operations."

“There should be no doubt that Russia perceived its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,” Coats told the committee.

King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the attacks on U.S. democracy will continue.

“But we’re talking about a major attack on our democracy that’s ongoing, that’s going to continue,” he said. “And this is a place where you need presidential leadership.”

King implored President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE to combat the Russian threat, suggesting interim reports between government agencies.

King said he "understand[s] the president's reluctance" on the issue because "it affects his election."

"I'm not berating the president, I'm urging the president because I think he could separate these two issues," he said.