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U.S. Senator Thom Tillis Discusses Trump, Russia, And Efforts To Pass Legislation

Senator Thom Tillis
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis spoke with WFAE this week about health care, immigration and the climate in Washington.


U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is used to fielding a lot of questions. It goes with the job. But many questions in the last two weeks have concerned his health since he passed out during a road race in Washington, D.C.

"I ran the fastest 2.5 mile race of my life. Unfortunately, it was a 3-mile race," he quips.  

As you can tell, Tillis says he’s fine. He says he just didn’t hydrate properly.

Of course, Tillis still gets asked about President Trump, Russia, health care, and immigration  - all topics he addressed with WFAE’s David Boraks. Among the highlights:

On whether he believes Russia played a role in electing President Trump
"I don't know that there's any evidence that Russia played a role in getting him elected, but there's plenty of evidence suggesting that they are intervening in elections in the United States, France, and other parts of the world."

On whether the 2016 election gave Republicans a mandate
"I don't believe the election last year was a Republican mandate...I think we were given an opportunity to produce results, but the American people's patience and their willingness to support us again is going to be based on what we do, not what we talk about from this point forward."

On the House GOP health care plan
"It's their best effort to get the votes they need to send us (Senate) something. The Senate plan will probably be instructed by the House plan, but it will be different in certain areas, I think particularly as it relates to getting the right balance between expansion and non-expansion states, and making sure the programs we're going to enable the state governments to implement are sustainable."

On immigration policy
"Democrats and Republicans have been talking about this for four decades, and they've all failed, all of them dating back to Ronald Reagan when he made the mistake of granting amnesty to some 3 million people. The problem's gotten worse. We just need to check the ideological poles at the door, get people to come together and come up with bi-partisan sustainable immigration reform."

Editor's Note: This interview was conducted with the assistance of UNC-TV and its North Carolina Channel. UNC-TV filmed the interview. You can watch it at wfae.org.  The UNC-TV program "Bottom Line" also interviewed Senator Tillis. That program airs Friday at 10 p.m. on the North Carolina Channel.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.