Republican senators will grill President Donald Trump on whether he knows anything about whether his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday that the president’s firing of Flynn as national security advisor and the administration’s investigation of Russian interference in the election were the main reasons why he decided to remove Flynn from his post.
“He knows all the facts, he knows all of the facts that have been reported, but he also knows that these events are the result of Russian meddling,” McCain said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“The president should answer the questions, should make it clear that he has the full confidence of the president and that he is fully committed to protecting the United State from any attack on its institutions and its people.”
McCain said that Trump fired Flynn because he had been “overly sensitive to the issue of Russian influence in the presidential election, including his personal interactions with Russian officials.”
McCains said that the investigation of Flynn’s ties to Russia and Russia’s interference in U.S. politics had created an atmosphere of mistrust, “with the president personally being investigated by the FBI and by the Department of Justice.”
“There is no doubt that the administration, and especially the president himself, was overreacting,” McCain continued.
“It is my opinion, the president was under a lot of pressure to fire Michael Flynn.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.S.), who chairs the Senate Armed Services committee, said on CNN that Trump should make a statement that Flynn did not lie to the Flynn investigation.
“That’s his right, but I think it’s not fair to him to just sit there and go through a lot more of this.
I think the American people deserve answers,” Graham said.
“There’s been a lot that’s been said and we need to get to the bottom of it.”
Graham said that Flynn’s firing was “an attempt by the president to retaliate against the investigation into Russian interference and to make it seem like he was in the middle of some kind of conspiracy.”
Graham also said that he thought the administration “was putting the interests of the United Kingdom ahead of the interests and security of the American People.”
Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Bob Corker (R) take questions from reporters during a press conference at the Capitol on Jan. 25, 2021, in Washington, DC.
(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)McCain, who has been a strong critic of Trump, also said Trump should clarify his statement that he believed Flynn had misled him.
“What I am asking him is if he has been misled about the nature of that conversation, if he knows that Flynn lied to him, if Flynn lied on the phone with the vice president and then he lied on Twitter, would he be able to stand up to a congressional committee and say, ‘I told you so’?
I think that’s a tough one to answer,” McCain told reporters.
McCain was the first senator to publicly speak out against the president after Trump fired him on Jan., 3, citing the Russia probe.
McCain said at the time that he had doubts about Flynn’s claims that he hadn’t discussed sanctions with Russia during the transition period.
McCains was joined on CBS’s “Face The Nation” by Sen. Ben Sasse (R.-Neb.), who also is a member of the Senate panel.
Sasse, who chairs a subcommittee that is investigating the investigation, said he was not sure if Trump knew Flynn lied about the call with the Russian ambassador.
“I’m not sure what you’re saying.
I’m not even sure if you know whether he was lying to you.
I can tell you that he wasn’t,” Sasse said.