ABINGDON, VA (WJHL) – Congressman Morgan Griffith was in Southwest Virginia on Wednesday and he weighed in on some of the major issues coming out of Washington D.C. in recent days.
When asked about the investigation of potential ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, Griffith encouraged the investigation but also said little has come from it at this point.
“So far there’s no evidence of any wrongdoing,” Griffith said. “That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t continue to look to make sure. But it doesn’t seem really worthy of being on the front page of the Washington Post every single day.”
He said that there is appropriate attention that needs to be given to the investigation but that it should not overwhelm the work in Washington.
“I think that it’s important that they investigate it so that the American people can know that there was no wrongdoing,” Griffith said. “So I would encourage them to do it. That being said, I’m not sure that we need every committee in the House and the Senate investigating it.”
Griffith said that his issue with the attention the investigation is getting is that it takes attention away from other things they are trying to accomplish.
“There’s a frustration level in that we’re trying to do a lot of good things in Washington D.C. and our fellows on the other side and ladies on the other side of the aisle, all they want to do is talk about Russia and the Trump administration. But even they admit that thus far there’s no evidence of any wrongdoing,” he said.
When asked about President Trump’s decision about the Paris climate accord, Griffith said he hope the United States withdraw from the agreement.
“I hope the president will pull us out of the Paris accord related to climate change,” Griffith said. “There are a lot of good things that we can do but this is a bad deal across the board for the United States.”
Griffith said the deal punishes the United States for its economic strength by cutting American carbon dioxide output by 30% while the Chinese do not have to stop increasing their output until 2030.
“We need to figure out something that’s fair to the entire world but I believe that the Paris agreement is not fair to the United States and we need a fair deal,” he said.
Griffith said there are other ways the U.S. can help in the meantime.
“We can figure out ways that we can improve the environment without the Paris accord and I think one of the ways to do that is to put more money into research for fossil fuels including coal, so we can find ways to burn it cleaner,” Griffith said.
The congressman also weighed in on the current tension between the United States and North Korea, saying that if the North Koreans continue to test missiles and advance their nuclear program, someone will have to intervene.
“I hope the diplomatic channels can work,” Griffith said. “But if not, we cannot allow North Korea to be a bully to the rest of the world.”
Griffith says it is important that the Chinese government be on the same page as the United States with respect to North Korea.
“The only country that has any real influence with them is China,” he said. “I think China needs to exert more influence and make it clear that if he wants to stay in power, he needs to stop doingall these missile tests and suspend his nuclear program.”
Griffith also spoke about President Trump’s recent budget proposal, which suggested cutting federal funding entirely from many programs around the nation.
Griffith said that every presidential budget proposal is met with initial opposition because it is just a first step toward the actual budget.
However, the congressman applauded the president’s efforts to slim down the budget.
“Can we tighten our belts? Yes we can,” Griffith said. “Is the president right to ask us to take a look at some things? He is.”
But Griffith emphasized that not everything that was cut in the president’s proposed budget would be cut in the budge Congress approves.
“Folks don’t need to think that everything’s going ot be cut that he’s asked to be cut,” he said. “I think you’ll see, instead of completely eliminating some projects you’ll see some projects scaled back.”
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