WASHINGTON — The FBI’s probe into Russian election interference and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s concurrent investigation into the matter will not be hindered by any tweets or statements from the president, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the committee, affirmed on Sunday.
"I think everybody just needs to keep watching this, but take a deep breath too, because the FBI's going to do its job," Rubio said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press" Sunday. "The FBI doesn't sit around all day and read tweets."
"The best thing that can happen for everybody, the president, the country, our institutions of government, is for a full and thorough and credible investigation that reveals everything,” he continued. “That's the best thing that can happen. I really believe that, including for the president.”
On Friday, President Trump wrote in a tweet, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”
And on Sunday an attorney on president’s legal team on “Meet The Press” adamantly denied that the president is under any kind of investigation, claiming the message was simply referring to a Washington Post report alleging that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation now includes an obstruction of justice probe of the president.
Rubio acknowledged, “the president's pretty fired up about this.”
“He, from every pronouncement we have seen, feels very strongly that he did nothing wrong, and he wants people to say that, because he feels very strongly about it,” Rubio said. “That said, that in no way is going to impede any of this work from continuing.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating how Russians attempted to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election last year, and how they could try again in future elections, as well as whether or not there could have been any link to associates of the Trump campaign.
Trump has downplayed the role that Russian hacking and other interference attempts may have played in influencing the American electorate before the vote last fall, and he has at various points questioned findings by the U.S. intelligence agencies.
Rubio maintained that it isn’t a question for him.
“As far as the general theme of Russia’s interference, look, the president has said he doesn’t believe it. I believe it, and not only do I believe it, I know it. Almost everybody else does,” Rubio said.
“Ultimately at the end of the day, he has a right to his opinion on these issues. Bottom line is, we are going to continue to do our work.”
And the work on the Senate Intelligence Committee is far from over, said Sen. Angus King, another member of the committee and an Independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats.
“I can say categorically that the collusion, the cooperation aspect of the investigation is not over,” King said on “Meet The Press" while describing where their probe stands now.
“And as far as that goes, I'd say we're 20 percent into it, just to throw a number at it. A lot of people have said, ‘When do you think you'll be done?’ Maybe the end of the year. This is a very complex matter, involving thousands of pages of intelligence documents, lots of witnesses. There's a lot of information yet to go.”