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Walden talks with KTVZ on impeachment, Syria and vaping

Doesn't see 'high crimes and misdemeanors'

Walden in Central Oregon on Tuesday

BEND, Ore. - In the wake of President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will not cooperate with the impeachment probe, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday that he believes the impeachment process is not being handled properly.

Walden said it's been too disruptive and has interfered with other business that he believes lawmakers should be focusing on.

The impeachment hearings began after allegations were made that the president, in a phone conversation, urged Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

"I said at the time, I don't think the phone call was his finest moment, Walden said. It does not rise, in my book, to high crimes and misdemeanors, especially when it's being handled in such a politicized way."

A new NBC News poll released Tuesday night finds 43% of those surveyed support impeachment and removing the president from office, while 49% do not.

There's little in the Constitution outlining how an impeachment should be carried out.

Walden also spoke out against the president's decision to pull out of northern Syria.

"I worry about what Turkey may or may not do," he said. "They've had a running battle with the Kurds, and you worry about what the Turks would do to the Kurds, given the opportunity. And the Kurds have been fighting with us against ISIS.

"I hope we don't go down a bad path here and leave friendly fighters who have been at our side, and we at theirs ,wide open."

Many Republicans are calling on the president to reverse his decision.

With the report Tuesday of another U.S. death related to vaping, we spoke with Walden about the issue.

"I'm of the mind we need to treat it like we do alcohol," he said. "You don't let a kid underage have a half-case of beer and let them continue to walk away with it. Why should they be able to keep the vaping device? It ought to be taken away, just like we take away alcohol." 

Walden also said he's worried about some of the flavors that he believes are designed to entice young people.

On the other hand, Walden said he believes vaping does work to help some adults quit smoking nicotine.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission plans an emergency meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Friday to discuss enactment of a six-month ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, directed by Gov. Kate Brown in her executive order late last week.

If one is put in place, it would take effect immediately and the OLCC would then begin calling on dispensaries to make sure they are aware of the new ban, spokesman Mark Pettinger said.

The vaping-related death toll is now at 22 for the nation, and two of those deaths occurred in Oregon.


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