Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) was elected to the United States Senate in November of 2008, after serving as Idaho State senator, lieutenant governor and governor. Sen. Risch serves on five Senate committees, include the Select Committee on Intelligence. He joined Neal Larson on KID Newsradio to discuss the latest Trump scandal, the Russia investigation and what’s next in Congress.
Listen to the full interview below:
Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) says President Donald J. Trump was doing his job when he allegedly disclosed classified information to Russia during a meeting last week.
“This is the job of the President of the United States,” Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) said. “He meets with the head of state of all 200 countries in the world with the exception of a couple of them and they discuss things. Now, when he discusses things, frequently he talks about classified facts. He is the only person in America who can make the decisions to whether the facts should be classified or unclassified.”
Sen. Risch would neither confirm nor deny what was discussed, but he said open sourced reporting alleges President Trump discussed airline safety with the Russian diplomats.
“The President was doing a good thing and here they’re saying, ‘Oh, he disclosed classified information,’ of course he did,” Sen. Risch said. “That’s his job and he’s the only one who actually can do that.”
In the wake of investigation into the Trump presidential campaign and potential Russian involvement, Sen. Risch said the appointment of former F.B.I Director Robert Mueller is a positive move.
“Muller’s a good guy and I think this was the right thing to do,” Sen. Risch said. “Frankly, they need to get through it, they need to get through it soon.”
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Risch says he’s read all the documents and material provided to the committee. He wouldn’t state his conclusion, but said fellow committee member Diane Feinstein said she has seen nothing that indicates collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
However, both situations Sen. Risch says, represent some of the most intense hatred of a U.S. president by the national media.
“I’ve been in this business all my life,” Sen. Risch said. “I’ve never seen the hate and the vitriol that the national media has against this president[…]If every inch of ink they put on the paper is devoted to Trump, it takes away from the American people’s ability to watch what’s going on out there.”
Sen. Risch says despite the intense focus on President Trump, Congress is still busy trying to repeal Obamacare and beginning discussions about tax reform.