McConnell: Don't Need a 'Special Committee' to Investigate Flynn's Activities

By Susan Jones | February 15, 2017 | 7:27am EST
(AP File Photo)

( - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a news conference on Tuesday that the Senate intelligence committee is "already looking at Russian involvement in our election...and it's highly likely they'd want to take a look at this episode as well."

Also on Tuesday, in an interview with MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, McConnell rejected the idea of setting up a special committee to investigate former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced out of his job for misleading senior administration officials about the content of his phone calls with the Russian ambassador before Trump was inaugurated.

"No, I don't think we need a select committee," McConnell told Scarborough. "We know how to do our work; we have an intelligence committee [which is a select committee]. He noted that a Judiciary subcommittee chaired by Sen. Lindsey Graham is "going to take a look at it."

"I don't think we need to go through setting up a special committee, but we are going to look at Russian involvement in the U.S. election. It's a significant issue, we know they were messing around with it. We don't think they had any impact on the outcome, but obviously we're not going to ignore something like that," McConnell said.

McConnell noted that the intelligence committees in the House and Senate "have the broad jurisdiction" to include Flynn's activities in their investigations.

A reporter asked McConnell at the news conference if he's "confident that President Trump did not direct Mike Flynn" to discuss the lifting of U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

"Look, I -- I -- you'll have to ask those -- the White House those kinds of questions," McConnell responded.

"I think the fundamental question for us is, what is our involvement in it and who ought to look at it, and the Intelligence Committee is already looking at Russian involvement in our election. As Senator Blunt has indicated, it's highly likely they'd want to take a look at this episode as well. They have the broad jurisdiction to it and any questions as to why the president did what he did ought to be directed to -- to the White House."

McConnell began the news conference by mentioning Democrat efforts to block Trump from having a fully functioning administration: "Our Democratic friends are burning all the time they possibly can to keep the president from getting his outstanding Cabinet selections in place so the government can function. But we'll soldier on here and get as many through as we can," McConnell said.

He noted that even "noncontroversial nominations are being held hostage while the more contentious ones are chewing up a lot of time."

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