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Connect to Congress: 'Matter(s) of concern' when it comes to security

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Various members of the U.S. House of Representatives spoke with their Sinclair Broadcast Group stations on Wednesday, particularly on the big national security issues grabbing headlines this week.

At the forefront was bipartisan reaction to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's resignation, stemming from Flynn's contact with Russian officials before he assumed his post.

Members from both parties talked about the need to gather more information on the nature of the contact between Flynn and Russia.

"It’s a matter of concern for anybody, regardless of the situation. We want to know what type of things take place," Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, told WKRC-TV. "I don’t think it’s inappropriate for there to be an incoming administration having some conversations with another government about what may be coming up, but it depends on what was actually discussed and that remains to be seen. I haven’t seen anything on it at this point."

Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch pointed to the information we've already learned via media reports surrounding the situation so far as a reason to look further into the matter.

"We learned that Gen. Flynn, the former national security adviser, was forced to resign after it became clear he lied to the vice president," Deutch told WPEC-TV. "I have joined with colleagues ... Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate who’ve called for a bipartisan investigation."

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to criticize the intelligence leaks to the media.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, a member of the House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee, believes such leaks are dangerous.

Stewart told KUTV, regarding the leaks, "You look at this and you can surmise important surveillance techniques and how we conduct some of our national intelligence efforts around that."

Another big security concern arising from over the weekend was North Korea's missile test.

Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., addressed the situation in an interview for KHQA-TV, "This is a rogue country, a rogue dictator, and we need to increase our sanctions and make sure those are fortified."

LaHood also pointed out that the U.S. must put more pressure on North Korea's closest and most valuable partner, China.

Safety is something the area of West Palm Beach, Florida has seen in a different light these past three weekends. That's due to President Trump's frequent visits there. According to lawmakers representing the region, safety restrictions imposed are also leading to economic hardship.

“We always welcome with open arms the president of the United States, whoever that might be, and we want him or her to be safe," Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., told WPEC-TV.

However, Frankel hinted that various industries in the area, particularly the airline industry, are feeling the pitch with the president's travel sometimes closing down airports and main roads.

"There is a very dramatic economic impact in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even running into the millions for some of these industries, especially the airline industry. They may go out of business," Frankel said. "For any president, a community is happy to accommodate once in a while. If it becomes a routine, it really then becomes a difficult situation."

Frankel and her South Florida colleague Deutch said one thing they are looking at is a way for local law enforcement to recoup some of the costs for protecting the president and his guests from the federal government.

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