Senate report calls for strong response to Russian attacks

The White House has forged a cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Trump was elected

The White House has forged a cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Trump was elected

But the report also strongly criticizes President Donald Trump's administration, saying its response has emboldened Moscow.

Russian Federation sharpened its meddling tactics over the last 20 years by practicing them on its own people, the report charges. "That's not a bad thing", Trump said at a joint White House news conference with visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Asked whether the doing enough to combat it, Mahjoubi said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that "the US and Facebook have already joined the worldwide community talking about this subject, and what happened during the American election and the French election and other European elections".

"President Trump must be clear-eyed about the Russian threat, take action to strengthen our government's response and our institutions, and - as have other presidents in times of crisis - mobilize our country and work with an global coalition to counter the threat and assert our values", he said.

Reuters is reporting today that Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, "who has repeatedly denied accusations by USA intelligence officials and others that Moscow interferes in any foreign elections", once again rejected the allegations and said he was "dismayed to see them still being made".

The tensions gained momentum in August 2017, when US President Donald Trump signed a bill, imposing new sanctions on Moscow over its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Senate Democrats warned that Russian Federation has been interfering with European democracies and hammered the Trump administration for failing to take steps to prevent foreign meddling in USA politics. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the committee's ranking member.

In the past, Trump officials have given mixed messages about how to deal with Russian Federation, with Trump himself espousing more conciliatory policies, while others backing stronger responses, including financial sanctions and more USA military weaponry for European allies.

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted the leader of the nationalist LDPR party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, as saying United States authorities "specifically want to play dirty tricks in front of the Russian Embassy". It was prepared for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Despite the litany of claims by Trump that Russian election interference and his campaign's coordination with Russia were a hoax or overhyped, prominent Republican lawmakers have remained hawkish on Russia. Senior Democratic Senator Ben Cardin attacked Trump for having "barely acknowledged the threat posed by Putin's repeated attacks on democratic governments and institutions".

Congressional Democrats are warning in a new report about Russian election interference across Europe.

It comes a few weeks before a deadline for the administration to announce secondary sanctions against companies and individuals who do business with Russian intelligence and military entities.

The Kremlin has continually denied accusations that it tried to interfere in America's presidential election and blamed "Russophobia" growing in Washington as a major constraint in attempts to rebuild relations between the two countries.

More generally, the report says Putin views transparent democratic governments characterized by a free press, the rule of law and participatory citizens as a hindrance to the spread of corruption outside of Russian Federation, which limits the opportunities for Putin and his inner circle to further enrich themselves. "They're actually trying to unpack the problem, start to separate it from domestic politics, and come up with policy-level answers, which I think is right and needed".

According to the report, the Kremlin is spending far more on foreign propaganda outlets, and on nongovernmental groups and political parties opposed to the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Spain has led Europe in cracking down on Russian-based organized crime groups.

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