Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (Va.) admitted Sunday that the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet found a smoking gun during its investigation into potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.
“There is a lot of smoke,” Warner, who is vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We have no smoking gun at this point, but there is a lot of smoke.”
In a separate interview the same day on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Warner told host John Dickerson that “every week there’s more smoke that appears,” though he reiterated the fact that the committee has found no “smoking gun” or conclusive evidence to date.
However, the investigation will continue to “sort through” all the information to determine if there is any veracity to the suggestion that Russia did work with Trump associates to influence the 2016 election, Warner told Dickerson.
The senator expressed concern about reports that Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers to deny evidence of cooperation between his campaign and Russian operatives.
If those reports are true, it would be “very concerning,” Warner said. "As each week goes along and more stories break, what I think the president deserves and the American public deserves is to go past reported press stories and actually hit facts.”
Warner’s comments came just days before former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump last month, is scheduled to testify before Congress.
Originally, the White House said in a statement that Comey’s dismissal came at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump later said he had decided to fire “nut job” Comey before receiving any recommendations.
Regarding the Russia probe, Trump said Comey told him on multiple occasions that Trump was not being investigated.
“I think [Comey’s] gonna have a chance to tell his story and every member’s gonna have a number of questions for him,” Warner said.