Sen. Mark Warner: "We Have No Smoking Gun" in Russia Probe (But Lots Of Smoke)


(Full interview)

Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner tells CNN's Jake Tapper that "there is a lot of smoke," but no "smoking gun at this point" when it comes to allegations that President Trump had any connection with Russia during the election.

Warner, a Democrat, serves as vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

TAPPER: One of the big questions, of course, is, is there any evidence of collusion that you have seen yet?

Is there?

WARNER: Listen, there's a lot of smoke. We have no smoking gun at this point. But there is a lot of smoke.

And, again, one of the questions we will have, not only for Director Comey on Thursday, but on Wednesday for Director of National Intelligence Coats and NSA, National Security -- NSA Director Admiral Rogers, I'm going to want to ask them, because there have been reports that the president also talked to both of them in terms of asking them to downplay the Russian investigation.

That would be very concerning to me.

TAPPER: Have you heard any accusation yet that you think, if it is proven, in terms of what the president has said to either Coats or Admiral Rogers or James Comey, that, if it's proven, it is obstruction of justice?

WARNER: Jake, I went to law school, but I'm not a practicing attorney. I will leave that for much better attorneys than I.

But, clearly, it would be very, very troubling if the president of the United States is interfering in investigations that affect potentially the president and his closest associates.

We have seen already the NSA director, the NSA adviser General Flynn get fired because he didn't fully disclose his contacts with Russians. We've had the attorney general, Sessions, have to recuse himself because he didn't fully disclose his connections with Russians.

We see other reports of Mr. Kushner having a series of contacts with Russians and others. And the American people deserve to get to the bottom of this.

And what I hope our committee is able to do, and we've -- I'm very proud of the fact that it's maintained its bipartisan approach -- is, we're going to just follow the facts. We're not going to be taken out by some of these one-off stories. We're going to continue to follow the facts.

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