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McConnell: No one tells Burr how to run Intelligence panel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump Gun violence prevention groups optimistic background check legislation can pass this Congress MORE (R-Ky.) sidestepped tensions within the caucus over Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrChamber of Commerce labels Biden removal of NLRB general counsel 'extreme' Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence MORE's (R-N.C.) decision to subpoena Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpTrump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged Donald Trump Jr. attacks Cheney at CPAC: 'Lincoln Project Liz' MORE, arguing that senators weren't trying to tell the Intelligence Committee chairman how to do this job.

"None of us tell Chairman Burr how to run his committee," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the tensions within his caucus over the subpoena.

"I asked him to undertake this investigation into Russian collusion a couple of years ago. He's indicated publicly that he believes they will find no collusion and we are hoping that we will get a report sometime soon."

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Pressed on President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE's statement earlier Tuesday that the subpoena of his son was "unfair," McConnell again dodged. 

"I gave the responsibility of this investigation to Chairman Burr two years ago. He's indicated publicly that they will find no collusion and we anticipate getting that report sometime soon," he said.

Trump said earlier Tuesday that he thought it was "very unfair" for the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee to subpoena his eldest son.

“It’s really a tough situation because my son spent I guess over 20 hours testifying about something that [special counsel Robert] Mueller said was 100 percent OK,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

McConnell's statement comes amid lingering tensions among Senate Republicans over Burr and Democratic Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Democrats offer fresh support for embattled Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump teases on 2024 run Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE's (Va.) decision to subpoena Trump Jr. as part of the panel's investigation into the 2016 election and Russia's election interference.

Burr has come under high-profile criticism, including from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief FBI director faces lawmaker frustration over Capitol breach Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP MORE (R-S.C.), who is plotting his own probe into the 2016 election. Graham argued that Trump Jr. should comply with the GOP-led panel's subpoena, but said the president's son should plead the Fifth and refuse to testify.

“You just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with,” Graham told reporters, referring to the amendment that protects citizens from self-incrimination, according to The Washington Post. Calls for Graham to resign began trending on Twitter Tuesday morning following his remarks. 

But McConnell has tried to downplay the tensions sparked by the subpoena, saying last week that Trump shouldn't worry about the current fight between Trump Jr. and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I know the president's upset about that, but I think he ought not to worry about it. The chairman of the Intelligence Committee has already said the committee, when it reports, will find no collusion," McConnell told WHAS, a Kentucky radio station.