US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has urged two key Senate committees to hold hearings on the possibility of placing new sanctions on Russia in order to prevent the Kremlin’s interference in future US elections, Voice of America reports.
McConnel has asked the leaders of the foreign relations and banking committees to “facilitate Congress’s efforts to formulate a state-level response to interference by Russia, or any other country, in our elections in 2018”.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also believes that the US president is mistaken in his appraisal of Putin.
“I think he [Trump] needs to understand that he is mistaken in his assessment of Putin. I don’t think he is as prepared as he should be,” Graham said.
However, only two days ago Trump said that he believes that Russia is no longer a threat to the US. When asked whether Russia remained a threat to the US, Trump said “no”.
Such a stance is at odds with US intelligence information, according to which Russia is continuing to interfere in the US electoral system.
Earlier it was reported that US Congress is preparing a bill on automatic sanctions for interference in elections.
According to a CIA report, part of which was published in May, the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections. Russians hackers carried out a cyberattack on the Democratic Party’s servers and, by order of Moscow, propaganda was also distributed on social networks to influence the results in favour of Trump. On July 13, the US Justice Department accused 12 Russian intelligence agents of interference in the elections.
Trump brought up this topic on July 16 during his meeting with Putin. Despite the evidence, Putin once again denied that Russia had interfered in US elections, saying that he was prepared to cooperate with the investigation. In return, Putin asked for Russian investigators to have the opportunity to question US citizens whom Moscow considers connected to the Hermitage Capital case, as well as former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.