Sullivan calls for White House ‘discipline’; Murkowski mulls special prosecutor

Photo of U.S. Capitol by Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media

Both of Alaska’s U.S. senators said Tuesday they’re concerned by reports that President Trump shared classified intelligence with top Russian officials in the Oval Office.

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Sen. Dan Sullivan said the White House needs more discipline. He also said it would help if the president stops the morning Tweets and focuses on the goals that got him elected, goals the senator said he’s working on too, such as growing the economy and strengthening national defense.

“I mean, when there’s a lack of discipline in the White House, it’s hard to get to those things, which are important,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the White House staff needs a more disciplined process, too.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski was on an airplane, flying back to Washington from Alaska, when the latest news broke.

“It was just a regular Monday and by the time we landed. It’s just like every day there is another story that leads to more questions. And, you know, the administration is trying to figure out how they dig out of that hole,” Murkowski said, “And then the next day there’s another that they’re digging.”

Both senators say they need more information about the president’s conversation with the Russians, and also about his firing of FBI Director James Comey last week. They plan to attend a briefing Thursday on the Comey termination.

Murkowski said a special prosecutor may be warranted for the investigation, which began with Russia’s alleged meddling in the election, though she says she still trusts the Senate Intelligence Committee is pursuing the facts without bias.

“But if people don’t believe that it has been fair and open and transparent, then maybe we haven’t accomplished what we need to accomplish,” Murkowski said.

Still, Mukowski is skeptical that a special prosecutor can restore the public’s confidence.

“You’re going to have people saying, ‘Well, because of his background over here, he’s going to lean in that direction,'” Murkowski said. “You’re never going to find that perfect person to head it. You’re never going to be able to be free from the criticism.”

Sullivan said he places a lot of trust in National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. McMaster said the president’s discussions with the Russians were “wholly appropriate.”