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

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices 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 CoatsAn independent commission should review our National Defense Strategy Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race 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 TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' 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.