Sen. Angus King

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Maine’s two U.S. senators have said security officials aren’t giving adequate attention to attempts by Russia and other nations to influence elections. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King expressed those concerns during an unusual open meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday.

King said he spent an hour reading the still-classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. He said the findings, which he would not detail publicly, are “horrifying.”

U.S. Senator Angus King is warning fellow members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia is trying to use the strengths of democracies to undermine them in what he calls a style of "political judo." 

“Our strength is our freedom and our First Amendment and our free press and our open society, and that’s exactly what they are using to turn it back on us and divide us,” says King.

King says the Russians have also turned to social media and other forums to influence what he calls a de-unification of Europe.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

Maine's two U.S. senators say the two-year budget deal reached Wednesday is a big step in the right direction.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, says the deal struck by Senate leaders and President Trump will increase both defense spending and funding for domestic programs over two years.

She says the agreement sets spending caps while avoiding the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.  “It’s a significant agreement because it would do away with the threat of sequestration, that arbitrary across-the-board cuts of federal programs."

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press/file

The temporary spending bill Congress passed a few weeks ago runs out on Friday, and Republican leaders are talking about yet another short-term spending bill.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says the process to pass a massive overhaul of the federal tax code is the worst he's ever seen.

During an interview with MSNBC Friday, King reiterated statements he made from the Senate floor Thursday, saying the proposal is too big and too consequential to be rushed.

"The Bangor City Council wouldn't amend the leash law using this process," he said.

King criticized GOP leaders for writing the tax bill in secret and for not holding a single hearing to vet the proposal.

Maine independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says Congress has abdicated its responsibility to oversee the use of military forces in combat missions around the world.

Appearing on MSNBC, King said Congress needs to update the resolution authorizing use of combat forces.

“We haven’t passed even a bare authorization since the week after September 11th," King said, "and I don’t think you can argue with a straight face that that authorization covers what we are doing now.”

Maine independent U.S. Sen. Angus King is criticizing the procedure majority Republicans are using to pass a tax cut bill, a process he says will end up costing seniors.

 The measure would allow a simple majority to pass the legislation, blocking any attempt at a filibuster.

“We still don’t know what the plan is," King said Wednesday in a speech on the Senate floor. "We have an outline, we have principles, we have bullet points, we have lists - but we don’t have a plan. Therefore, it is difficult to analyze.”

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Under questioning Tuesday by Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said he thinks it's in the nation's security interest to maintain the Iran nuclear deal.

King questioned Mattis at a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee on policies in southeast Asia.  King asked Mattis directly about continuing the agreement with Iran on inspection and limitation of its atomic weapons development.

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Phoenix.
Rick Scuteri / AP Photo

At his campaign rally in Phoenix, President Donald Trump vowed to block passage of the federal budget for the next year if Congress fails to pay for his proposed wall to keep illegal immigrants out of the country. Members of Maine’s Congressional delegation say they’re concerned by those comments.

Trump was playing to a supportive crowd when he made his threat against a federal budget that Congress has been working on for months.

Both of Maine’s senators were on MSNBC today and were asked about President Trump’s on going response to the violence in Charlottesville.

Senator Angus King said the President must come to understand that his words become policy, and he must choose them more carefully.

“You can’t do that when your President, you are setting the moral tone for the country, you can move markets, you can start a war,” says King. “I mean you have to be really careful about every word you say and I don’t think he gets that.”

Susan Walsh / Associated Press

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine grilled intelligence officials for their refusal to answer questions about discussions they had with fired FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday.

King and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee were irked when intelligence officials said it was inappropriate to discuss whether President Donald Trump pressured Comey to scuttle the Russia probe.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe declined to answer King’s questions, citing an ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

FILE: Sen. Angus King I-Maine, attends the christening ceremony for the USS Raphael Peralta, the 35th Arleigh Burke Class Missile Destroyer to be built by Bath Iron Works, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Bath, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Bangor-area residents took their concerns over the impact of the Republican-led American Health Care Act directly to Independent Maine Sen. Angus King today during a listening session at the Bangor Public Library. The event was organized by the AARP, an advocacy group for 50-plus Americans, and King said that while the measure cleared the U.S. House earlier this month, how the bill will fare in the GOP-controlled Senate remains to be seen.

FILE - Republican Sen. Susan Collins and  independent Sen. Angus King speak to reporters after King announced his endorsement in her bid for a fourth term, Friday, May 16, 2014, at the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Whether it’s the resignation of the national security advisor, speculation about the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia, or President Trump’s unverified claim about wiretapping by former President Obama, news outlets often turn to Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King to weigh in.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine -  Several hundred people turned out at Hannaford Hall on the University of Southern Maine campus Sunday evening for a "listening session" with independent Maine Sen. Angus King about the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The crowd was so large that an overflow room had to be set up outside the auditorium.

FILE: Senate Armed Services Senate Committee member Sen. Angus King, I-Maine questions Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King says that the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections will also probe former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian officials.