Udall: President’s firing of FBI director & sharing of classified information with Russians ‘call into question his fitness for office’
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke on the Senate floor to call for real, bipartisan oversight of the Trump administration in light of the president’s “dangerous” behavior with classified information in a recent Oval Office meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador. Udall said that President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey – who was overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible ties to Trump campaign officials — and the president’s reported sharing of highly classified information with Russian officials “call into question his fitness for office and further underscore the imperative for independent investigations.”
Speaking about the widely corroborated reports that the president revealed highly classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office, Udall said “we can already tell that President Trump’s behavior in this incident is very dangerous — dangerous to our national security institutions, and dangerous to the men and women overseas who are serving their country and risking their lives.” Udall called the president’s reported actions “strange,” especially in the context of Russian interference to benefit the Trump campaign in the 2016 elections.
“America’s intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, and that they favored the Trump campaign,” Udall continued. “Now the President is hosting senior Russian officials in the Oval Office, and disclosing highly classified information – information that puts future intelligence, and maybe lives, at risk. The day after he fired the FBI Director, President Trump admitted on camera to NBC News that he did so in part because he is frustrated at the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference, and potential Trump campaign contacts. Congress needs briefings on this incident.”
Udall said “President Trump’s firing of the FBI Director in the middle of an investigation into the campaign that put him in office – and the President’s bizarre behavior since – should concern all Americans, regardless of party. The only rational explanation is that he has something to hide — that he wants to disrupt the investigation into Russia’s interference in our election.”
In light of the president’s dangerous behavior and what Udall called a “constitutional crisis,” Udall urged Republicans to join Democrats in Congress in conducting real oversight of the administration. “The majority in Congress must listen to the American public, must follow the lessons of history, and must protect the rule of law and our Constitution,” Udall said. “In the United States, no person is above the law, not even – and especially – the President.”