WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday morning that he has “some doubts about" Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican senator and chairman of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, which is looking into Russia’s attempts to influence the last election.
Burr "first denied that they should even investigate,” Schumer charged during an exclusive interview on NBC's “Meet The Press.”
“Then, when he was pushed by Mark Warner, he said, ‘Okay, we'll investigate.’ And then, of course, at the administration's request, he went to the press and said something was wrong. That's taking sides in investigation. The faith I have in the intelligence committee is in Mark Warner and the Democrats," Schumer said. "They've been holding Burr's feet to the fire. And they have said they will look for another alternative if a Chairman Burr doesn't fully pursue this.” The minority leader went on to repeat that he wants to see a special prosecutor look into the Trump campaign’s communications with Russians while the country attempted to influence the election.
Burr released a statement Sunday afternoon stating, “As I’ve said since the beginning and have repeated since, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will follow the evidence where it leads, and we will continue to be guided by the intelligence and facts as we compile our findings.”
Later in the show, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared that he does have confidence in the Senate’s effort to look into the matter, calling their actions “truly bipartisan" and claiming that the Senate investigation will be able to examine the issues with a broader context.
Clapper also noted that based on the information he gathered before he left his position as DNI, he has no knowledge of any evidence that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russian government while Russia was trying to interfere with the U.S. election.
Earlier in the show, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, also a member of the Intelligence committee, said that he has complete confidence in their ability to conduct a fair inquiry.
Schumer also responded to Trump’s series of tweets on Saturday that alleged President Obama ordered a wiretap of communications at Trump Tower before the election.
The suggestion was "beneath the dignity of the presidency,” Schumer said. “It is something that really hurts people's view of government. It's ‘civilization-warping,’ as Ben Sasse, a conservative Republican, called it. And I don't know of any president, Democrat or Republican in the past, who has done this. It shows this president doesn't know how to conduct himself.”
The White House has provided no proof of the wiretaps — and Obama’s spokesman denied that the former president ever ordered such surveillance.
Sunday morning on “Meet The Press,” Clapper denied that any wiretap like that occurred.