2018 JUL 19 – At least three times over this past week Trump has denied Russia’s interference in our elections and continuing threat to our democracy:
- In a press conference with Putin, Trump said he didn’t see any reason why Russia would be responsible for interfering in our election.
- The next day, Trump questioned our intelligence community’s finding that Russia interfered in our election, saying it could have been someone else.
- Trump was asked if Russia continues its efforts to interfere in our elections, and he responded, “no.”
Trump’s repeated denials of Russia’s interference in our elections came just days after his own Justice Department charged 12 Russian officials for conspiring to interfere in our elections, charging that as part of this attack, the Russians:
- Hacked the Democratic National Committee.
- Hacked the website of a state election board.
- Stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters.
U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have repeatedly confirmed that Russia interfered in our election, and Trump’s own appointees have warned Trump about Russia’s work to undermine future elections. Yet, Trump continues to cast doubt.
FBI Director Christopher Wray yesterday warned that “Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and that it continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.”
DNI Dan Coats even compared the threat we face today with what U.S. intelligence officials said before 9/11: “Here we are nearly two decades later and I’m here to say the warning lights are blinking red again.”
Instead of denying these facts, the Trump administration should take steps to protect our democracy and the American people — that’s what a leader would do.
Unfortunately, the American people have seen that they cannot trust this president to put our national security over his own political interests — he always puts himself first.
It’s time for Republicans to hold Trump accountable, put country over party, and join Democrats in taking necessary action to defend against future attacks. Here’s what Republicans can do:
- Increase sanctions against Russia.
- Pass bipartisan legislation to secure our election systems.
- End their partisan attacks on the Justice Department, the FBI, and special counsel.
- Take action to protect the special counsel’s investigation.
- Demand that Trump insist the 12 Russians indicted last week be sent to the U.S. to stand trial.
@LucasRAcostaNational Broadcast Media Manager
Director of LGBTQ Media
Democratic National Committee