On a day that saw FBI Director James Comey testify before the House Intelligence Committee, Erin Burnett made the issue the focus of her evening news program by welcoming a man who was in the room as the testimony was given.
Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio is a Republican member of the Intelligence Committee, and cautioned anyone from forming opinions based solely on what Comey shared Monday morning.
“I think it certainly is highly speculative and people shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions,” said Turner, referencing in particular Comey’s revelation the FBI is investigating potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. “This is an important issue and it does need to be addressed, but it certainly shouldn’t be played out in the media.”
Monday’s hearing also touched on President Trump’s claim that his Trump Tower phone lines had been tapped by former President Barack Obama, which Comey said didn’t happen. In light of that, the “OutFront” host asked Turner about Trump’s next move.
“Do you think that President Trump should apologize, that he should retract the accusations that he made, which frankly were personal, they were alleging that President Obama had done something criminal?” Burnett asked her guest. “Should he apologize?”
“At this point … the ball’s in his court,” he replied. “We’ve had the FBI director say that there’s been no evidence … the ball’s in the President’s court to explain what did he mean … by this tweet, and why is he saying that.”
Meanwhile, it’s also worth noting that Turner’s live CNN interview came after breaking news on the global terror front, as it was revealed that electronics larger than mobile phones may be banned from certain incoming US flights originating in the Middle East.
Noting that he hadn’t yet been briefed, Turner said the new ruling seemed sensible.
“There has been some concern for some time about electronic items being used to hide explosive devices and their threats to airline traffic,” Turner told Burnett. “This is all about getting the intelligence we need, applying it to the type of protections and interventions that we can do, and then trying to lessen that threat and this certainly sounds like it could be part of that.”