Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., finds it troubling that President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, hasn’t been more cooperative with the Senate investigation into Russia’s interference with the U.S. election.
“There’s so much we don’t know about Michael Flynn but it looks really, really troubling, and obviously Michael Flynn should be responding to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoenas,” Sasse said in a Wednesday interview with Yahoo News Anchor Bianna Golodryga. “He should be turning over all documents, and the investigation should be completed in a fulsome way.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee announced new subpoenas against Flynn Wednesday to compel him to hand over documents relating to his interactions with Russian officials. He rejected a similar subpoena earlier this week by invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.
Flynn was forced to resign after just 24 days following revelations he had mislead Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. His tenure as national security adviser was the shortest in U.S. history.
During the Wednesday interview, Sasse talked about the recently unveiled Congressional Budget Office score for the House health care bill; his new book, “The Vanishing American Adult”; and the importance of imparting good reading habits to young Americans. But the conversation returned several times to Russia’s interference with U.S. institutions.
He said that he was pleased Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster was chosen to succeed Flynn in the White House.
“That guy’s running a good process, and there’s a whole bunch of stuff where the White House doesn’t have a decision-making process yet,” Sasse said. “But in the national security space, a lot of things are working well, and that’s a tribute to the fact that the president put Gen. McMaster in there as his national security adviser.”
When asked about Trump’s reluctance to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for interfering with the U.S. election, Sasse made his position on the Russian strongman abundantly clear.
“Putin is an enemy of the American people. Putin is an enemy of free association, free speech, free assembly, free press. And these things are the beating heart of the American experiment,” Sasse said.
He said the government is not the center of American life but that it should provide a framework for ordered liberty: That means celebrating free speech and a free press, as well as making it clear that Russia’s interests are not aligned with America’s interests.
“Russia did clearly attempt to interfere in our election in the 2016 cycle,” he said, “and we need to dig into that in a complete and fulsome way.”
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