Iowa Politicians React to President Trump’s Statement on Russia Investigation

IOWA  —  During a visit to Finland on Monday, President Trump said he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russia would be responsible for interference in the United States’ 2016 presidential election despite information from U.S. intelligence agencies.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” the president said during a news conference after his summit with Putin.

His comments have now drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Reactions from several Iowa politicians can be seen below.

Senator Joni Ernst 

“I have the utmost faith in the U.S. intelligence community and their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.  Russia has never been a friend to the U.S., and they continue to pose a threat to America and our allies.

“We need to be cautious in how we approach our dealings with Russia.  I hope that President Trump, today, delivered a strong message behind closed doors that Russia will continue to be punished for their illegal annexation of Ukraine in 2014, their abhorrent support for the murderous Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and their aggressive actions in U.S. domestic policy.  I am also hopeful President Trump discussed Russia’s role in the Balkans, as Iowa’s sister state, Kosovo, continues to be threatened by Russia’s hybrid warfare tactics in Serbia.”

Senator Chuck Grassley 

“The indictment from the Special Counsel’s office includes allegations that Russian military officials were involved in an attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election through cybersecurity hacking. U.S. intelligence officials continue to confirm that no vote tallies were changed as a result. Nevertheless, these are serious charges that strike at the core of our democracy, and the individuals who were indicted need to face the allegations being levied against them. President Trump missed an opportunity to publicly press President Putin on whether he would agree to extradite the defendants to the United States to answer the allegations in court. It should always be the goal of U.S. presidents to improve relations with other countries, especially ones as large and strategically important as Russia. It’s also important for our leaders to be clear-eyed in their approach. Vladimir Putin isn’t a friend to the United States, to the Western world or our values.”

Representative David Young

“There is no doubt Russia interfered in our election, this has been confirmed by our intelligence community and Congressional committees.  While we don’t know what was said in the closed door meeting, in the public setting the President missed an important opportunity to pronounce serious displeasure and consequences of this meddling and interference. Russia is not an ally. Russia is our adversary. Iowans and Americans take their elections and value their vote in a dutiful and personal way and the President should have acknowledged this publicly by at least chastising Putin and warning him against acting against the interests and values of the United States and her republic in this way.”

Congressman Dave Loebsack 

“President Trump is flat out wrong to blame the United States and take the word of a foreign adversary over the findings of his own intelligence experts and the House Intelligence Committee. Iowans understand that Putin is a tyrant and it is now more critical than ever that both parties in Congress work together to protect our election systems, democratic process and national security interests both at home and abroad.”