VA Sen. Mark Warner on Senate Russian investigation: “This is not fake news… This is what actually happened to us”

by | Mar 30, 2017 | POLITICS

President Donald Trump’s connections to Russia, and how they could have impacted the election, was front and center as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee spoke this morning, and a Virginia Senator is leading the charge.

Interviews for the investigation aren’t set to kick off till early next week, but Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), promised a fair and thorough investigation.

“Today’s public hearing will help the American public understand how the Kremlin made effective use of its hacking skills to steal and weaponize information and engage in a coordinated effort to damage a particular candidate and to undermine public confidence in our democratic process,” said Warner in a prepared statement. “We simply must – and we will – get this right.”

Warner made no qualms about much of what we already know, noting the committee will “determine if there is an actual fire, but there is clearly a lot of smoke.”

He pointed a number of smoke singles which helped lead them into this mess in the first place (via Sen. Warner’s office):

· An individual associated with the Trump campaign accurately predicted the release of hacked emails weeks before it happened. This same individual also admits to being in contact with Guccifer 2.0, the Russian intelligence persona responsible for these cyber operations.

· The platform of one of our two major political parties was mysteriously watered-down in a way which promoted the interests of President Putin – and no one seems to be able to identify who directed that change in the platform.

· A campaign manager, who played such a critical role in electing the President, was forced to step down over his alleged ties to Russia and its associates.

· Since the election, we have seen the President’s national security advisor resign — and his Attorney General recuse himself — over previously undisclosed contacts with the Russian government.

· And, of course, on March 20th, the Director of the FBI publicly acknowledged that the Bureau is “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

“This is not innuendo or a false allegation. This is not fake news,” said the Senator. “This is what actually happened to us.”

While the Senate begins their search into the topic, the House’s version of the same investigation has already faced a number of public blunders.

First, Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealed information supposedly confirming Trump’s campaign was inadvertently monitored by the FBI, a boon for Trump’s “wire tapping” claim despite both Nunes and the FBI saying otherwise. It was later revealed that Nunes could have received that information while at a secret meeting at the White House, putting the authenticity of the information in question.

This has pushed House Democrats to call for Nunes’s recusal from the investigation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling the Chairman “compromised” and a “stooge.” Nunes’s credibility has come under fire from members from his own party as well, with Moderate GOP member Rep. Charlie Dent suggesting the Senate’s investigation should be the more authoritative of the two.

“It is unfortunate we are where we are in the House,” Dent told CNN’s Newsroom. “It seems like there is not going to be a House report on intelligence, on the Russian meddling, so we have to turn our eyes to the Senate.”

Warner promised both public and private interviews in relation to the investigations, and there’s no real timeline so don’t get your hopes up for this being wrapped up quick, but you can watch some of today’s announcements in the video below:

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

more in politics

There Will Be No Casino: The Lessons of November 7th, 2023

It’s over. Again. Richmond beat back the ghouls of predatory greed and political prostitution. After a battle, all seems eerily quiet. The quiet unsettles if not followed by the housekeeping of the battlefield - damage reports need filing, and new plans need...

Who Are We Becoming?

Voting No Casino & Reclaiming a Radical Vision of Solidarity & Economic Freedom Amidst a Divisive Casino Campaign Over the weekend, I learned that one of the owners of the proposed casino who is also one of the most powerful Black women in America, Cathy...

What Virginia College Students Need to know About Voting

This story is for subscribers to VCU’s Capital News Service. If you have questions or comments, please contact Alix Bryan at or 804-921-0114. RICHMOND, Va. – College-aged people are among the largest voting block, yet tend to have the lowest turnout in...

Labor Peace or Lawsuits?

This piece is one in a series of opinion pieces by Jon Baliles about the proposed Richmond Grand Resort and Casino. You can read his other pieces HERE. The casino advocates made a big deal about their labor peace agreement that was reached with the Washington,...

Make It Impossible to Happen Again

This piece is one in a series of opinion pieces by Jon Baliles about the proposed Richmond Grand Resort and Casino. You can read his other pieces HERE. The Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial Board and reporters sat down this week with the casino opponents who said the...

Resorts Like Airports

There has been a lot of boasting from the casino advocates about their partnership with Kentucky-based Churchill Downs, Inc. (CDI). The rebranded Richmond Grand casino developer Urban One is a radio and TV conglomerate that has said they are partnering with CDI...

Pin It on Pinterest