ONLY ON 3: Sen. Richard Burr on cyberterrorism, VA Clinic, GOP race and more


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The continued issue with the water at Wilmington’s VA clinic was just one of several topics WWAY discussed with Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) today. In a story that you’ll see ONLY ON 3, the studio interview about a variety of issues that affect all of us.

“I think we’ve eliminated the delay,” Sen. Burr said of the VA water issues, “but with the amount of money that the VA is investing on a monthly basis in that facility, we want the landlord to figure out the problem quickly. We’ve had some good tests lately on the water quality. We think we’re on the right road, but we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

On a larger scale we asked Burr, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, about threats to our security, including from groups that use social media as a tool for terror. The issue raises big questions about security versus privacy.

“The function of my committee is to make sure that we look constantly at the intelligence community,” Burr said. “Looking at the telephone number of a person that we know has had contact with a terrorist telephone number is probably beneficial to the American people as long as we don’t look at the data, the conversation or content of the call. Knowing that contact was made so we can use law enforcement to look into an individual. And if we have reasonable suspicion that they are going to carry out a terrorist attack, then we go to court and get a judge to get us a warrant to look at the content.”

But Burr said more still needs to be done.

“We’ve got to be better at counteracting their capabilities on social media to recruit, to affect lone wolves in the country,” he said of the terror networks.

Burr is also concerned about cyber security, including questions about e-mails with top secret information on the personal e-mail server of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The senator said they need to know what could be out there.

“It’s to fully understand, if her server were attacked, which we know for the past two years top officials, private emails, including the president, were targets of foreign governments. We would like to know the full extent today of what they accessed in top secret or classified information,” Burr said.

Clinton’s e-mails are now a big issue in the race for the White House. It’s a race where another very famous face has garnered a lion’s share of attention. We wanted to know if Burr thought Donald Trump stealing the spotlight hurts the Republican Party.

“No,” Burr said. “I think this is the healthiest thing we could go through. One, this is the first Presidential election cycle in the August before election year we’ve ever talked about who might run much less who is in or had debates.”

**Click on the video above for our entire interview with more detail on all topics above, as well as Sen. Burr’s reaction to restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Iran nuclear deal and what is being done to protect our coast.

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