Ohio lawmakers critical of Trump’s Russia comments; He says he misspoke

Ohio lawmakers in both parties criticized President Donald Trump’s acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election over the counsel of U.S. intelligence services.

Congressional Republicans rebuked the president in varying degrees, but consistently agreed Russia engaged in a campaign to meddle the American democratic process.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said Trump’s description of U.S.-Russian relations was “very disturbing” and “wrong.” Turner said Putin’s Russia is accused of shooting down commercial aircraft, using banned chemical weapons against former citizens, supporting a “murderous campaign” in Syria and “obviously and clearly” attempting to interfere with the 2016 election.

Hansgen on AM 1290 News 95.7 WHIO. “At this point, I think it’s important for us, with a very strong voice, to indicate to the president he needs to take an about-face.”

“Think of how our allies feel when they’re asked by us to stand up to Russian when the president of the United States doesn’t do it himself,” Turner said.

Turner’s Democratic congressional opponent Theresa Gasper said President Trump’s comments show “disloyalty” to the intelligence community.

“President Trump’s actions not only show disloyalty to our national intelligence community but directly undermine the work that thousands of men and women do in our community at NASIC at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the multiple intelligence squadrons at Springfield’s Air National Guard Base,” Gasper said in a statement.

On Friday, a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials on charges of hacking Democratic files. The charges were a result of a year-long investigation by special counsel Robert Muller, the former FBI director and a Republican.

Then, on Monday while standing next to Putin, Trump called the special counsel’s probe “a disaster for our country” and said Putin gave an “extremely strong and powerful” denial of interference.

“He failed to stand up to Vladimir Putin on some of the most critical security issues facing our country and our allies,” sand U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “When given the opportunity, President Trump did not hold President Putin to task for election meddling, for the illegal annexation of Crimea, or for the continued aggression in Eastern Ukraine.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, charged Trump “missed an opportunity” to challenge Putin, adding “the intelligence experts we trust to keep America safe have said that Russia continues to threaten our democracy and our critical infrastructure, and the president missed an opportunity to do something about it.”

“The Ukrainian community in Ohio knows all too well the dangers of unchecked Russian aggression,” Brown said. “We must demand Russia turn over the spies who hacked our election and show Putin we will not put up with threats to our infrastructure that undercut our democratic institutions.”

President Trump says he misspoke

Trump said on Tuesday that he had misspoken a day earlier in Helsinki, Finland, when he appeared to take the word of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia over the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies on Russian election meddling in 2016. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he “accepts” those findings.

Mr. Trump said the misunderstanding arose from his use of a “double negative.”

“The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’ sort of a double negative,” he said. “So you can put that in and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself. I have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that Russians attempted to interfere in our elections.”

The New York Times contributed to this report


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Congressman Mike Turner, Congressman Warren Davidson and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine talked about the U.S.-Russia summit Tuesday morning on AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO.

Today and later this week we will talk with Democratic governor candidate Richard Cordray, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senate candidate Jim Renacci and others. Tune in to Miami Valley’s Morning News Monday-Friday from 5-9 a.m. for the lastest newsmakers and the news of the day.

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