Russian hacking

FILE: Senate Armed Services Senate Committee member Sen. Angus King, I-Maine questions Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Maine Independent Sen. Angus King said today that there is absolutely no doubt that the Russian government attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told an AARP audience at the Bangor Public Library that Congress must take a bipartisan approach to determine what role — if any — the Trump campaign had in the Russian effort to influence the election’s outcome.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, left, and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., right, listen as Clint Watts, center, a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

During the first of what is expected to be many public hearings over the next several months, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee heard from experts on past Russian efforts to influence elections around the world.

Those efforts have extra significance now, as Congress attempts to get to the bottom of Russian meddling during the last election without drifting into a partisan squabble.

Maine’s two U.S. senators are expressing concerns about reports that officials in the Trump administration attempted to enlist senior intelligence officials and members of Congress to push back against news reports focusing on President Donald Trump associates’ links to Russia.

Ed Morin / Maine Public/file

AUGUSTA, Maine - President-elect Donald Trump is furious that someone leaked a classified report on Russian hacking of computers in the United States to several media outlets.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins agrees with Trump’s call for an investigation of the leak. “I was appalled when I read about the leak of highly classified information and that it occurred before the president-elect was briefed.”

Collins says the Senate Intelligence Committee, on which she serves, is scheduled to get the public version of the intelligence agencies report on Russian hacking next week.