Why Is the GOP Still Snuggling Up to Russia?

It’s a fact: Vladimir Putin and the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They invested money, technology and other resources to ensure that GOP candidate and current president Donald Trump would be elected, and they met with countless Trump contacts to offer more direct assistance as the campaign gained steam.

Russian officials purposefully influenced the outcome of our democratic process in order to torpedo the more popular, more experienced and less malleable candidate and put someone they believed could be an ally into the White House.

So why is the GOP still getting in bed with them?

In case there were still any questions remaining after the post-election dust settled, the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has now released official findings concurring that Russia actively engaged in altering the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

In a statement, Committee Chairman and Republican Senator Richard Burr explained:

The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions. The committee continues its investigation, and I am hopeful that this installment of the Committee’s work will soon be followed by additional summaries providing the American people with clarity around Russia’s activities regarding U.S. elections.

Ranking Democratic Senator Mark Warner agreed, adding:

Our investigation thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the January 2017 ICA, which assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign to target our presidential election and to destabilize our democratic institutions. As numerous intelligence and national security officials in the Trump administration have since unanimously re-affirmed, the ICA findings were accurate and on point.

A direct attack on the United States government should be the most abhorrent thing a U.S. lawmaker encounters. Yet rather than condemning Russia, eight Republican senators decided to spend the Fourth of July in Moscow, prepping the way for the upcoming summit of President Donald Trump and Russian President Putin — because nothing says “celebrating American freedom from tyranny” like hanging out with a dictator who likely pushed his puppet into leading the U.S. on his behalf.

But for the party of eight, the optics we easily ignored — even though it would have been Fox News fodder for months if the shoe was on the other foot. As Dana Millbanks wrote at the Washington Post:

There was a time, in the pre-Trump era, when Republicans would have erupted in fireworks over an Independence Day visit by submissive American lawmakers to the country the 2012 Republican presidential nominee called “our number one geopolitical foe.” (Relations have worsened considerably since then.) They called Jane Fonda “Hanoi Jane“ and a traitor when she went to North Vietnam in 1972. After Democrats visited Iraq in 2002, Republicans ridiculed them as “Baghdad boys.”

If Democrats sound critical of the senators’ field trip, well, they should be. The Republicans claimed they were heading to the country for diplomatic reasons, including urging Russia to stay out of future elections. But once they arrived, the strong arm approach broke down.

The Washington Post reports:

Members of the delegation set off on their trip late last week promising to be tough with Russian officials ahead of the president’s visit, especially on matters of election interference. But they struck a conciliatory tone once there: The point of their visit, [Alabama Senator Richard] Shelby stressed to the Duma leader, was to “strive for a better relationship’ with Moscow, not ‘accuse Russia of this or that or so forth.”

Instead of building a better relationship, the group was denigrated in the Russian press.

Travis Gettys reports for Rawstory:

Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers who visited Moscow over the Fourth of July holiday and gloated about the Kremlin’s role in electing President Donald Trump. Russian broadcasters mocked the Republican lawmakers as “weak,” saying their tough talk changed after arriving in Moscow. “We need to look down at them and say: You came because you needed to, not because we did,” said Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko on state-run television.

It is clear that the GOP’s efforts to convince Russia had little impact — if that was indeed what they even aimed to do. Which leaves America wondering, if the purpose of the trip was to establish a “better relationship,” could the real goal have been to ensure that when it comes to future meddling, the Republicans continue to come out ahead?

Photo Credit: Flickr

65 comments

Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E4 months ago

brian f STILL avoids the question as to whether or not HE is more knowledgeable that the US Senate committee and all the OTHER investigative organizations as to Russia being involved and hacking. Today proves it does but all brian does is regurgitate his blame game.
Makes you wonder about brian's loyalties doesn't it

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Brian F
Brian F4 months ago

The same corporate fake news CNN, and MSNBC and the CIA lied about the Iraq war, but now we must believe them. Julian Assange exposed Hillary for the crook that she is and how she has a public and private position on issues, and is too close to Wall Street for the 22 million they paid her. Wall Street owns Hillary like they do Obama who took $400,000 as a reward for not prosecuting one banker. So the Democrats who cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, are all crooks.

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Brian F
Brian F4 months ago

The Wikileaks emails proved Hillary has a public and private position on issues, and is too close to Wall Street for the 22 million they paid her. So this phony Russia investigation is being used by the corrupt Democrats to divert attention from their corruption, and the fact that they cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and have an unfair super delegate rule. Where's the 30,000 emails Hillary deleted? Bernie Sanders would be our president if the corrupt Democrats didn't cheat him out of his primary.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E4 months ago

Just announced 12 more indictments against Russian "hackers" . I wonder what trump will say to putin on Monday. My bet is absolutely nothing !!

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heather g
heather g4 months ago

It's always the money - the 1%'s money.

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Elaine W
Elaine W4 months ago

Complicity anyone? Follow the money.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E4 months ago

brian f
STILL not the question I asked a simple yes or no to.
Let's see how many MORE excuses you have .

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Brian F
Brian F4 months ago

Rhoberta E The CIA and corporate news, MSNBC, Fox news, and CNN, all lied about the Iraq war, so how can we believe them about Russia? Our Governmental agencies sure got the Iraq war wrong, so can we really believe anything they say? We know that the Democrats disgraced liars Donna Brazille, passed debate questions to Hillary, and Debbie Wasserman Shultz scheduled the debates to favor Hillary, and the Democrats have a horribly unfair super delegate rule, that gives the incumbent over 400 super delegates before even having a challenger, which is cheating. So answer my question, "YES or NO". Why is their no investigation of the corrupt Democrats who cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and caused Trump to win?

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E4 months ago

brian f
Once again you look like a 2 year old who continuously says, " but they did it first".
You have LOST any credibility here by simply not being to answer "YES or NO"
To my previous post to you. Carry on with your fables

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Brian F
Brian F4 months ago

The Democrats used to defend Russia when Republican Romney claimed they were evil. Now the Democrats risk a nuclear war with Russia by condemning it. I don't think it's a good idea to make false accusations about a country. The CIA has involved itself in the elections of 80 other countries, and in 1953, the USA installed a brutal dictator, the Shah, so the USA could still Iran's oil, so this Russia story looks phony.

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