GOP chairman Burr doesn't see need for Senate Intel to talk to Bannon

Story highlights

  • House and Senate Democrats on the intelligence committees have asked for Bannon to come before their panels
  • Bannon declined to comment to CNN about whether he will meet with the panels

Washington (CNN)Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr said Thursday he doesn't see a need for his committee to talk to President Donald Trump's former senior adviser Steve Bannon, breaking with the top Democrat on the panel, Sen. Mark Warner.

Bannon is quoted in Michael Wolff's forthcoming book on the Trump White House as calling the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting "treasonous" when a Russian lawyer with alleged dirt on Hillary Clinton met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
    Bannon is also quoted as saying that he believed the Russians met with Trump, contradicting Trump Jr.
    But Burr downplayed what Bannon might know about the meeting, which occurred before Bannon joined the Trump campaign.
    "I'm not sure what an individual who wants to talk (to Wolff) about a meeting that he didn't attend would be able to share about that meeting," Burr said when asked if he wants to interview Bannon. "And given we've been able to interview all but one who were in that meeting I think we've had substantial insight."
    Asked if there were other matters the committee would be interested in speaking to Bannon about, Burr said: "I don't make a habit of responding to anything Steve Bannon says."
    Still, House and Senate Democrats on the intelligence committees have asked for Bannon to come before their panels, given his senior role in the Trump campaign and the White House and his newly revealed comments raising concerns about the Trump Tower meeting.
    "Plainly, he would have a lot to say to our committee," Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday.
    Bannon declined to comment to CNN about whether he will meet with the panels.
    Burr also told CNN that the opposition research group Fusion GPS is "within the scope" of his panel's investigation but he would not say if he would take the group's recommendation to investigate Trump Organization finances and potential ties to the Russians.