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GOP Senate Intel Member: Probe Trump's Ties to Russia

| by Robert Fowler

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a majority member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, believes that his panel should investigate the full extent of the Trump administration's ties to the Russian government following the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

On Feb. 14, Blunt said during an interview with a local St. Louis radio station that the Senate Intelligence Committee should mount an investigation to fully determine President Donald Trump and his administration's ties to Russia.

"I think everybody needs that investigation to happen," Blunt said, according to CNN. "And the Senate Intelligence Committee ... has been given the principal responsibility to look into this, and I think that we should look into it exhaustively so that at the end of this process, nobody wonders whether there was a stone left unturned, and shouldn't reach conclusions before you have the information that you need to have to make those conclusions."

On Feb. 13, Flynn turned in his resignation after it was revealed that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence, who had defended the national security adviser against the ultimately accurate accusations that he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador in December 2016.

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"The national security of all the people that work with and for the President has to be absolutely trustworthy and truthful and apparently he wasn't and he paid the price for that," Blunt said of Flynn.

The Missouri senator added that the best place for a Senate Intelligence Committee to begin its investigation would be to question Flynn.

"What did he know?" Blunt said. "What did he do? And is there any reason to believe that anybody knew that and didn't take the kind of action they should have taken?"

Following Flynn's resignation, Democratic lawmakers were swift to question whether or not the national security adviser acted alone or had been authorized to discuss sanctions with Russia.

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The ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, called for a full investigation into Flynn to determine who else was involved.

"What did the president know and when did he know it?" Cummings asked during a press conference, CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, has declined to hold hearings on Flynn, deferring any investigation to the House Intelligence Committee.

Chaffetz told Politico reporter Kyle Cheney that the investigation of Flynn's activities is "taking care of itself."

Sources: CBS NewsCNN, Kyle Cheney/Twitter / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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