Following a New York Times story which reported that investigators had intercepted phone calls between Trump campaign officials and senior Russian intelligence officers during the presidential election campaign, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called for a Senate Select Committee to be formed to investigate those allegations if verified, along with all other concerns regarding Russia’s potential involvement in the election.
In a statement Wednesday, Graham made it clear that he believes Congress should refrain from taking action based solely on news reports, but argued that if the reports are true, Congress should take its role of oversight seriously. He said:
If in fact there are campaign contacts between Trump officials and Russian intelligence officers that would be a very serious event and would justify the Senate forming a Select Committee to look at all things related to Russia. The Russians have been trying to break the backbone of democracies all over the world, and clearly in my view, interfered in the 2016 election.
The press release also made mention of the leaks which led to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation on Monday night. Graham described the leaks as “damaging to our national security,” echoing President Donald Trump’s tweets about the subject.
The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by "intelligence" like candy. Very un-American!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
Graham’s call for the formation of a Select Committee comes after other senators from both parties have expressed support for investigating the matter.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.