One of President-elect Donald Trump’s earliest endorsers in the U.S. House attempted to dismiss a report that 99 members of the Senate now believe that Russian hackers influenced the 2016 election, saying it didn’t include all 100 of them.
Appearing on the CNN’s Situation Room with host Jim Sciutto, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was unimpressed by the fact that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have pointed the finger at the Russians which, in turn, has led 99 senators out of 100 to say the evidence is there.
When host Sciutto pointed out that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) intend to push legislation for sanctions against Russia, Collins pointed out that they would need support from the Republican-majority House.
“Well, you ‘re going to have to have the House involved in these things as well, and that is a debate for after the election,” he said, presumably meaning after the inauguration of Trump.
“I understand the need to debate retaliatory action,” Sciutto pressed. “But you have all the agencies saying Russia did this. You have the Senate, all 100 senators or 99, say Graham and McCain — who are Republicans by the way. What is there to debate about Russia’s role in hacking the U.S. election?”
“Well, again, it is 95 percent stated, not 100 percent,” Collins replied. “And President Obama is the one who said he is going to take action and he has 25 or so days to do that. So I would leave this with President Obama. If he is going to take some actions, to send a signal, let him do so. he is still president. He’s been a weak president but nevertheless he did say he would take some steps. Whether he does or not, I think I would leave that to President Obama and let President Trump, starting January 20 or 21, deal with the ongoing issues. And I have every confidence that President Trump is going to send the message: don’t mess with the United States of America.”
Watch the video below via CNN: