Sen. King: We Can't Confront Threat of Russian Meddling If Trump 'Continues to Deny It Exists'
During testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the six heads of the U.S. intelligence community gave their assessment that Russia believes its 2016 election meddling was "highly successful" and they are laying the groundwork to meddle in the midterm elections later this year, Catherine Herridge reported on "Outnumbered Overtime."
At one point during Tuesday's three-hour hearing, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) grew visibly frustrated and urged the intelligence chiefs to persuade President Donald Trump that their findings are correct and Russia indeed interfered in the U.S. election.
"My problem is, I talk to people in Maine who say the whole thing is a witch hunt and it's a hoax 'because the president told me,'" King said, arguing that the issues of Russian election meddling and alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia should be separate.
"We cannot confront this threat, which is a serious one, with a whole of government response when the leader of the government continues to deny it exists."
Without a clear doctrine for deterring cyber attacks, the United States is fighting a serious battle with our hands tied behind our back. That’s why I highlighted the issue in today’s hearing on worldwide threats – watch here: pic.twitter.com/G5zQMtKtLz
— Senator Angus King (@SenAngusKing) February 13, 2018
King went on to say that the U.S. needs a clear doctrine for fighting cyberattacks, or else we're fighting with our hands tied behind our back.
"There are no repercussions. We have no doctrine of deterrence," King said. "How are we ever going to get them to stop doing this if all we do is patch our software and try to defend ourselves?"
Watch more above.