President Donald Trump is getting a lot of criticism from members of the Indiana Congressional delegation regarding his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite agreement in the U.S. intelligence community that the Russians did interfere with the 2016 elections, the President said he took Putin at his word and did not believe the Russians played any role.
Here is the reaction from the delegation…
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly
- “When given the chance to stand up for our country and its security interests, President Trump instead emboldened President Putin and disregarded the consensus conclusion of the hard-working and patriotic Americans in the intelligence community, including Director of National Intelligence and fellow Hoosier Dan Coats. This meeting was a setback for American national security. We must not tolerate efforts by Russia or other actors that disrupt our democracy or undermine our interests around the globe. For more than a year, the entire United States intelligence community has agreed that Russia, under the direction of President Putin, attempted to influence the 2016 election. Friday’s indictments from the Special Counsel, announced by the Department of Justice, came before Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats sounded the alarm, warning of a potentially devastating cyber attack on U.S. systems and citing that among state actors “Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question.”
U.S. Senator Todd Young
- “Moscow invades and bullies its neighbors, disregards its treaty obligations, seeks to divide NATO, and props up the murderous Assad regime. To protect America’s national security interests, stand up for democratic values, and deter additional aggression by Putin, we must deal with Moscow from a position of strength and unity. I have no reason to doubt the clear conclusions of the intelligence community when it comes to Moscow’s attempts to undermine our democracy. When it comes to defending our democratic institutions against foreign subversion and meddling, we are Americans—not Republicans or Democrats.”
Congresswoman Susan Brooks
- “It is vital to guarantee the integrity of our nation’s elections in order to safeguard our democratic institutions. I believe Russia, under Vladimir Putin’s leadership, sought to sow confusion and undermine Americans’ faith in our government and electoral process with the further goal of tearing our country apart. I am confident our intelligence community, in large part led by fellow Hoosier Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, has provided and will continue to provide reliable and trustworthy assessments on the threats facing our nation, and believe their credible claims of Russia’s involvement in our 2016 presidential election. Russia’s repeated aggressions demonstrate they do not consider the United States worthy of respect. It is important we set the record straight and hold Russia accountable for their manipulative actions meddling in our elections.”
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski
- “Russia is not our ally, and Vladimir Putin is not our friend. As DNI Dan Coats reaffirmed this week, it is undeniable Russia interfered in our election and seeks to undermine our democracy. America must continue to stand strong against Putin’s destabilizing actions and prevent further attacks on our country.”
Congressman Jim Banks
- “No one wants to return to the Cold War. I want President Trump’s diplomatic efforts to be successful, but I’ll take the word of a Hoosier statesman over Vladimir Putin any day. We must take seriously the warnings of Director Coats and the American intelligence community. Russia is not our friend. Vladimir Putin’s goal is to destabilize America and reduce our global leadership role. We need to hold Russia accountable for its aggression and make it clear that America will protect our democratic institutions.”
Congressman Andre Carson
- “Even after a year of troubling statements and foreign policy unpredictability, today’s summit was shocking. Never before have we seen a president so dramatically set aside a vital American interest to appease the expectations of a foreign adversary. As a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I have the privilege of working with men and women who have devoted their entire lives to protecting our country. These professionals, whose credentials and expertise are indisputable, are united in their assessment that Russia meddled in our election. This is reinforced by bipartisan findings of investigations of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Setting these assertions aside on the word of the very person responsible, a former KGB officer with a reputation for deceiving the United States, defies logic. President Trump said that he does not see a reason why Russia would have meddled in the election. I believe this question should be turned back on the President. What reason could the President of the United States have to stand up for Russia, at the expense of the democracy he swore to protect? This is not a one-time misstatement. This is the culmination of years of praise and admiration for the Russian dictator. It’s time for all Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to condemn the President’s illogical affinity for Russia and stand on the side of evidence. Russia is not our ally and it is responsible for attacking our democracy.”