McConnell: No one tells Burr how to run Intelligence panel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE (R-Ky.) sidestepped tensions within the caucus over Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick MORE's (R-N.C.) decision to subpoena Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpPETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report House chairman warns foreign governments to 'cease and desist' spending money at Trump properties 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 John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 WarnerFacebook users in lawsuit say company failed to warn them of known risks before 2018 breach New intel chief inherits host of challenges Overnight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces 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 GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week 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.