U.S. Sen. Angus King said Sunday that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the November presidential election, including whether there was any collusion or coordination with the Trump campaign, has many months to go.

Speaking from Brunswick to Chuck Todd, host of the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” King said there are thousands of pages waiting to be reviewed and the investigation could continue through the end of the year.

“We are 20 percent into it, just to throw a number at it,” said King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

King’s appearance followed a week of developments in the investigations by the Intelligence Committee – of which both he and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, are members – and special counsel Robert Mueller into possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia. On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions went before the intelligence committee and refused to answer senators’ questions about his conversations with President Trump on the firing of FBI Director James Comey. During the week, Trump repeatedly called the investigation the biggest political witch hunt in history on Twitter.

King’s appearance came after that of Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who is also a member of the Senate committee.

Under questioning by Todd, Sekulow repeatedly denied that the president is under investigation for obstruction of justice, despite tweets by Trump last week indicating that the president understood he was under investigation.

Rubio also lent support to the president, describing him as “pretty fired up about this.” He said Trump feels he did nothing wrong and wants investigators to say that publicly.

Rubio said the investigations into the campaign by the Senate Intelligence Committee and Mueller will be good for the president and good for the country.

King said Sessions’ testimony last week that he had never been briefed by U.S. intelligence agencies on Russia’s interference was astounding.

That would have been inappropriate after the attorney general recused himself from the Russia probe in March. But King said Sessions had months before that as a member of the campaign and Trump transition team and then as attorney general to look into the evidence.

“I can’t imagine coming into office with this fact and not digging into it,” King said.

He called the Russian interference one of the most serious attacks on the United States in recent years.

“The president doesn’t seem very interested, either. Comey had nine interactions with the president. In none of those did Trump ask, ‘What can we do about it?’ ” King said.

He said he thinks Trump does not believe there was Russian interference. Every intelligence agency in the country has said the Russians sought to sabotage the presidential election, although there is no evidence at this point that they altered the outcome. King said he wishes the president would sit down with intelligence officials, get the facts and stop denying it.

“I think he thinks it undermines his election. But the Russians are not going away,” King said.

He said he is especially concerned about Russian interference into state elections last year. Bloomberg reported last week that the Russians attacked 39 state election systems, citing three sources with direct knowledge of the investigation. The Obama administration was aware of the attacks months before the election and warned the Russians to stop.

“The Russians were trying to screw around with our elections and also state elections, which I find really scary,” King said.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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