After Helsinki, Senate GOP Quietly Takes Aim at Russian Federation

Sen. Jeff Flake  and Sen. Chris Coons  speak at a news conference on Thursday July 19 2018

Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. Chris Coons speak at a news conference on Thursday July 19 2018

Mr. Trump also passed on the chance to rebuke Mr. Putin for Russia's hacking.

The resolution Cornyn blocked was authored by Sen.

All of Flake's colleagues slammed the left-wing demand, saying it would irreparably damage a sitting President's ability to hold private conversations with other world leaders. "In so doing he dimmed the light on freedom ever so slightly in our own country".

"I tasked the chairmen of the Banking and Foreign Relations Committees with holding hearings on the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, and to recommend to the Senate additional measures that could respond to or deter Russian malign behavior", McConnell said Thursday.

Sanctions targeting key Russian economic sectors would kick in swiftly if US authorities determined the Kremlin had meddled again in a USA election, under a bill gaining momentum in the Senate on Wednesday.

"I think it's regrettable that this was objected to".

In a tweet from Flake, he said, "If a Senator disagrees, they need to come to the floor & explain why".

Cornyn said those steps could include new sanctions against Russian Federation to punish that country for its interference in U.S. elections, something Cornyn said he supports. After that position provoked criticism from across the political spectrum, Trump claimed on Tuesday that he misspoke and believes Russian Federation did interfere in the election. Trump called the U.S investigation into possible Russian meddling "foolish" and said that both countries "have made mistakes".

The offer from Putin developed after the Justice Department indicted 12 GRU military intelligence officers for their involvement in Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 US election.

His request came as he met with Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, calling it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory". Nearly as soon as he stepped aside, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas took the microphone, and he said, sure, Russians interfered in the presidential election. On Thursday afternoon, the Senate was expected to vote on a third resolution related to a discussion between Trump and Putin about the possibility of the United States allowing Russia to question US citizens that it says were involved in an illegal scheme with William F. Browder, a financier and critic of Putin, in exchange for allowing USA authorities to question Russian intelligence officers indicted on a charge of cyberattacks.

On Monday, President Trump embarrassed and undermined the values of the United States by openly siding with Russia's authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, against the unanimous assessment of the US intelligence community that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

Besides demanding that Russian Federation be held accountable, the resolution also called for congressional hearings into the actual summit meeting, including "the release of relevant notes and information, to better understand the impact of the recent summit ... on the foreign policy and national security of the United States".

Flake said what happened in Helskini, "ranging from heartbreak and horror" was "truly Orwellian".

CORNYN: It is purely a symbolic act.

"Ultimately, you're rendering yourself unable to tell the difference between the two", he said.

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