Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is steering clear of commenting on allegations President Donald Trump leaked highly classified information to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister during a White House meeting last week.
“As far as the classified information,” Grassley says, “I’m going to wait until I can be briefed on it in a secured environment before I can make any judgment about whether that was the case.” Grassley, a Republican, says he’d prefer to make a general comment about how the White House is being run and why there may be an appearance of disarray.
“You have for the first time in the history of the country somebody that isn’t a politician or a general become president of the United States,” Grassley says. “Even if a senator became president of the United States, there’s an awful lot about the job to learn that you didn’t know about before you became president.”
Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the White House is creating “chaos” and is in a “downward spiral” that needs to be corrected. Grassley disagrees.
“There surely are advantages to having a businessman come into the presidency,” Grassley says. “Don’t you think the government needs a little bit of business direction? I think if you go to some of his executive orders, you could find a lot of business principles put into the operation of government.” Grassley was asked if the latest allegations involving President Trump and the Russians might prod him further into requesting a special prosecutor be appointed. That person would also investigate earlier claims Russians tried to influence last year’s U.S. presidential election and that top Trump campaign officials had met with Russians.
“You’ve got to have some evidence of a commitment of a crime,” Grassley says. “There’s been absolutely no evidence thrown out about a commitment of a crime. That’s very basic to having a special prosecutor.” Grassley says it’s known the Russians “tried to interfere with the elections, but there’s no evidence they made a difference and for sure no evidence they changed a single vote.”