Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia stressed that they have not reached any conclusions but pledged to work together to avoid politicizing the investigation.
“I will not prejudge the outcome of our investigation,” Warner said in his opening statement. “We are seeking to determine if there is a lot of fire, but there is certainly a lot of smoke.”
Warner, a Democrat, also took a jab at President Trump, emphasizing that these allegations are not “fake news.”
“This is not innuendo or false allegations. This is not fake news. This is actually what happened to us,” he said.
In his opening statement, Burr, the committee chair, said that it’s imperative to acknowledge the Cold War history of the Soviet Union and the United States to understand the severity and historical context of the threats.
“We’re all targets of a sophisticated and capable adversary, and we must engage in a whole-of-government approach to combat Russian active measures,” he said.
Both Senators commended each others’ dedication to the investigation, and reiterated the importance of retaining bipartisan cooperation to ensure an effective outcome.
“If we politicize this process, our efforts will likely fail,” said Burr.
The House Intelligence Committee is currently embroiled in controversy; ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff has called on Chairman Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation following revelations that he bypassed committee members to brief the White House last week.
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