Senators push sanctions to send Putin election meddling warning

The very same people who roasted President Donald Trump for rejecting evidence-free claims of Russian meddling in United States elections are now demanding evidence for his claim Moscow will favor Democrats in November midterms.

The issue of election meddling hung over last week's summit in Helsinki, with Trump during a news conference giving credence to Putin's denials of Russian interference despite the findings of the US intelligence community.

Under pressure from Congress, which a year ago passed a tough sanctions law targeting Russia, the U.S. Treasury in April imposed sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs for election meddling and "malign" activities.

Two prominent Republican senators have said that the United States must move promptly to prepare new sanctions against Russian Federation to discourage interference in upcoming elections. But he added "they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don't want Trump!" the president tweeted on Tuesday, before giving a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

Many members of Congress had objected to the two leaders meeting again in the fall and said Putin would not be welcome on Capitol Hill.

President Trump resumed acknowledging Russian election interference on Tuesday and said he fears that this year, it will benefit Democrats.

Representative Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, questioned the wisdom of Mr Putin being ushered into the White House.

"We know for certain that the Russians were relentless in their efforts to meddle in the 2016 elections", Collins said in a prepared statement.

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Many Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing Trump's summit performance. "The issue of meddling is one thing, the issue of the president colluding is another and that is indeed a witch hunt".

"At a time when India is focusing on growing defence ties with the USA, we applaud Congress for also focusing on protecting this strategic partnership", Biswal said.

The president made that assertion in a tweet that ignored the evidence presented by his own intelligence services that Russian Federation had intervened in the 2016 election in his behalf. Democrats want to continue the money through 2019, but Republicans have said new spending isn't needed.

Still, Trump's tweet Tuesday is the US president's firmest confirmation to date of ongoing Russian attempts to interfere in the USA democratic process. "They did it the last time".

"DHS has made tremendous strides and is committed to working collaboratively with those on the front lines of administering our elections to secure election infrastructure from risks", Krebs said.

"In my opinion, there is no doubt that they intervened and will intervene (in elections) in the future", said Rubio.

Rubio is part of the Senate Intelligence Committee and urges the U.S.to prevent future attacks from Russian intelligence, citing that the discoveries made by Robert Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are "100 percent accurate".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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