Senator Angus King (Maine) discussed his frustration with the fact that Trump continues to call the investigation into the Russian election meddling a hoax:
"My problem is, I talk to people in Maine who say, 'The whole thing is a witch hunt and it's a hoax because the president told me.’ We cannot confront this threat, which is a serious one, with a whole-of-government response when the leader of the government continues to deny that it exists.”
Trump has denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russian to win the presidential election. He also continues to insist that Russian interfered with the elections at all, tweeting things like “Russian Collusion Hoax is dead.”
However, the intelligence community has determined there was definitely Russian interference in the 2016 election which is why lawmakers like King are urging Trump to separate the allegations of collusion from the issue of the election meddling.
Even though intelligence officials have made it abundantly clear to Trump that they are deeply concerned about Russia meddling in the upcoming midterm elections, Trump still has not directed the FBI to stop the Russian interference efforts. In fact, last month, the Trump administration said they would not be implementing further sanctions on Russia.
King doesn’t have much faith in the U.S’s ability to deter further interference from Russia, "There are no repercussions. We have no doctrine of deterrence," he said. "How are we ever going to get them to stop doing this if all we do is patch our software and try to defend ourselves?"
Read more about King’s comments here: “Angus King: We can't fight Russian meddling if Trump keeps denying it exists” written by Avery Anapol at The Hill posted on February 13, 2018.