National News

Rep. Hanabusa talks Trump, Russia investigation, rail during town hall

Posted August 9

— Hawaii U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa held a town hall meeting in Kapolei, Thursday evening.

Dozens of community members gathered inside Kapolei High School's cafeteria to have their questions and concerns heard, as Congresswoman Hanabusa discussed the latest news out of the nation's capital.

But before Thursday's town hall began, Island News asked Hanabusa the question on the minds of many throughout the state: Is she planning to run for Governor?

"All I will say is that, you know, were keeping all our options open and I will be making my decisions based on what is in the best interest of the people of Hawaii, and what the people of Hawaii would want me to do," Hanabusa responded.

During Thursday night's town hall, Hanabusa first spoke about special counsel Robert Mueller's decision to impanel a grand jury to investigate Russia's possible interference during last year's elections.

"I'm not surprised that Mueller is doing his job very seriously.. and I think that's the reason why there's speculation.. and it is speculation that the attacks on Jeff Sessions is a result of the fact that, that's the only way that the President could probably get somebody who would be more inclined to remove Mueller," Hanabusa said.

Article: Sessions' supporters stand up for attorney general

Hanabusa added that both Democrats and Republicans are keeping a close-eye to ensure everything is "above board."

"He tries to set policy by one-pagers or just coming up and ruling-- no substance we don't know what it means but that's what he want's to do," she said when talking about President Donald Trump.

The congresswoman also talked about President Trump's use of Twitter-- whether it be for public announcements, proposed policies or plans.

"I've kind of got to the point where whenever the President tweets something that.. I think is outrageous-- like the transgender position-- you don't set policy by tweets," Hanabusa said. "I almost think it's because something else is coming on.. and you can almost count on it."

Several community members at Thursday's town hall, asked questions on healthcare, homeless and the Honolulu rail.

"What I wanted you to respond to-- is to ask you not to call for an audit," rail supporter, Carolyn Golojuch asked.

"Are you going to officially request such investigations.. If not, why?" asked another.

Hanabusa, who previously served on the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board (HART), told the crowd she supports an audit of the rail.

Civil Beat: HART nixed a special audit of the rail project's cost overruns

"I openly supported the audit before.. it was out of sheer frustration of not being able to get a straight answer as to how we can go up in cost.. It's inexcusable and it's not fair to the people who will end up paying for it," Hanabusa said to her constituents, Thursday night.

She anticipates a rail audit will happen, regardless, since legislature would most likely require it before considering any additional funding.

Rep. Hanabusa will hold another town hall next Tuesday, August 8th at Kaimuki High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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