PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some local lawmakers and political analysts are concerned President Donald Trump’s administration is not coming clean about the alleged connections to Russia.
Questions about the Trump campaign’s repeated communication with Russian government intelligence officials have whipped up a firestorm on Capitol Hill.
“The intelligence community has been looking into this all along,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said.
“If there is any emergency, it is at this moment,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said.
Dr. Shauna Shames, a political science professor at Rutgers University-Camden, said these revelations might be illegal.
Gen. Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Adviser after he withheld information about a phone call he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.
“I think that there is probably something to these allegations, and the administration is going to have to come clean about what it knew and when it knew it,” Shames said.
Dr. Michael Boyle, of LaSalle University’s Political Science Department, believes there should be an immediate independent investigation.
“It’s not that you talk to a foreign government, it’s that you talked about national security sensitive issues that are useful to a foreign intelligence services and then misrepresent your own view back to your own government,” said Boyle.
Experts are raising concerns if members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian powers to torpedo Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“If you encouraged the hacking of the Clinton campaign or the slow drip of information from the Clinton campaign, that is something the average American should be concerned about because that subverts the electoral process,” said Boyle.
Boyle added, “I haven’t seen anything this serious since Watergate.”
In a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Trump attacked the media on its reporting of the communication with Russia.
“Gen. Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he has been treated very, very unfairly by the media – as I call it the fake media in many cases,” Trump said.
Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., issued a blistering statement calling for an independent investigation.
“It is now clear that the Trump administration’s national security apparatus is in chaos, creating a very troubling time for our country,” Casey said in a statement. “Gen. Flynn’s resignation, the continued cloudiness regarding Trump aides and their communication with Russian officials, the open air conversations regarding North Korean missiles, I am at a loss as to how to categorize what is happening over there.”
CBS News reports Trump has offered the National Security Adviser position to Vice Adm. Robert Harward, a 60-year-old former Navy SEAL.