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Sen. Lankford speaks on Russia, other issues

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – United States Senator James Lankford said the Senate Intelligence Committee will not stop until they find the facts regarding Russia's involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Speaking with 7NEWS today, Senator Lankford also touched on U.S. involvement in Syria and the widely-debated health care reform currently being worked on in Senate.

Senator Lankford said there are three main focal points in the Russia investigation. First, finding if there was there any Russian involvement in the election and how it happened. Second, if any Americans cooperated with Russia and third, finding out how classified documents were leaked.

Senator Lankford said the FBI is handling the criminal portion of the investigation, while the Senate Intelligence Committee is looking for facts and handling any policy issues.

"We've done over three dozen interviews already with a lot of people, subpoenaed documents from individuals who were not willing to turn those over and they are slowly starting to turn those documents over,” Lankford said. “We've gone through tens of thousands of pages of those documents already and still have more to go. We're working through it as fast as possible, our goal is to get to the facts, we're not responsible for what the outcome is, we're responsible for being able to get the facts as quickly as possible."

Lankford said Americans deserve to have this investigation handled correctly.

"It's important both for the president to get this issue resolved and behind him and for the presidency and the United States to resolve this as a whole,” Lankford said. “The American people don't want unnamed sources in some news report, they want to know what the actual facts are and the things to be able to back that up."

Lankford spent Memorial Weekend in the Middle East, seeing firsthand the problems our military is dealing with on a daily basis in Syria.

"It's not just the Syrian leadership,” Lankford said. “Obviously, the Syrian leadership is part of the problem. You can't have Bashar al-Assad leading the fight because he's, quite frankly, trying to start his own civil war and murdering his own people in the process. We've got multiple issues we're trying to deal with."

Lankford said the issues in Syria directly impact our national security.

"These are individuals from ISIS that are trying to bring the fight to us, we've got to be able to protect Americans, American allies and interests and take the fight to them first and to be able to press that down. That helps us with our own national security. But we don't live in the region, that's not our region, they've got to be able to maintain their own government, their own structure, to be able to help maintain their own military, their own defense."

Lankford also touched on Republican Health care reform, which is currently being drafted in the Senate.

"We have people that are in poverty that absolutely need a safety net for health care,” Lankford said. “We're going to do that as a nation, figure out the best way to do that. But there's also people that make maybe $30,000 or $35,000 a year, their health care rates have skyrocketed. Just in Oklahoma, on the individual market, our healthcare rates went up last year 76-percent under the affordable care act. That's not affordable."

Lankford said in the coming weeks, the Senate will be hard at work on several other issues, including tax reform, the budget, government regulations and the ongoing issues of battling terrorism around the world. 

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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