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Reed Speaks On Gun Control, AG Whitaker At Brown University

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed spoke at Brown University's annual Veterans Day Ceremony.

Gun control is front and center once again following the mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Thousand Oaks. Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed is hoping his colleagues in Congress can put their political differences aside and pass legislation to better protect the American people. Reed said he's personally reached across the aisle to address the issue.

"If I can recall, Senator John McCain and I sponsored legislation that would close the gun show loophole," said Reed. "Right now, there are certain circumstances where you can buy a weapon without a background check. It was defeated. So, there are examples of what we've done in the past. I hope we emulate those items on a bipartisan basis."

Reed said the fact that Democrats have taken control of the House is a big victory for supporters of additional gun control measures, but he's not sure proposed legislation would gain any traction in the Republican-led Senate.

As special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Jack Reed is among the Congressional Democrats calling on acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the probe. Reed said if he fails to do so, members of the House Judiciary Committee have no choice but to ask Whitaker to testify before them in January.

"I think what you have to do is to call Mr. Whitaker forward and give him an opportunity to explain his position," said Reed. "If he can make it clear that he's not going to interfere in our appropriate investigation and we'll play offensively by the rules, then they've accomplished a lot already."

Whitaker has been openly critical of the special counsel investigation. Reed said any conscientious lawyer would recuse himself from supervising the probe under the circumstances.  

In this Nov. 2012 file photo, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed speaks at Brown University.
In this Nov. 2012 file photo, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed speaks at Brown University.