GOP rep: We should have kicked Russian ambassador out of US
Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) told CNN’s "New Day" that the U.S. should have taken strong action against Russia well before the election.
“[A]t a minimum, we should have kicked the Russian ambassador out of the United States or the senior intelligence officer,” Hurd said Wednesday.
Hurd, a former undercover intelligence officer known in the House for cybersecurity issues, has long supported intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia was behind the hacks on a variety of Democratic agencies in an effort to influence the presidential election.
“It is clear that organizations tied to Russian intelligence was involved in the DCCC — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — and DNC hacks,” he said.
"The reality is the DCCC spent $6 million trying to unseat me, but an attack on them is an attack on all of us,” added the Texas Republican, who was up for reelection this cycle.
He also addressed President Obama's pre-election warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin, which the public learned about last week. Obama said he spoke to Putin in early September and told him "to cut it out, and there was going to be some serious consequences if he didn’t."
"It’s not enough to tell someone to cut it out," Hurd said Wednesday.
Some lawmakers are now pushing for a select committee investigation into Moscow's meddling.
But Hurd said he'd rather see the investigations managed by the existing Intelligence Committees, who he said were the best-qualified groups.
That echoes the stance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has said the Senate Intelligence Committee is "fully capable of handling this" investigation.
"There's no question that the Russians were messing around in our election. It is a matter of genuine concern and it needs to be investigated," McConnell said Tuesday. "In the Senate, we're gonna investigate that in what we call regular order."
Hurd is not a member of the House Intelligence Committee, although he does sit on related committees and subcommittees, such as Oversight’s National Security Subcommittee and Homeland Security’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.