Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | 2 a.m.
An investigation into whether Russians interfered in the 2016 election has support from Democrats and Republicans alike, contrary to President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Trump on Monday, after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation led to the indictment Friday of a dozen Russians over stolen data and emails from Democrats in the 2016 election. Trump continued to disagree with the U.S. intelligence community and many in his own party on meddling by Russians in the election.
Trump has also called the Mueller investigation a “witch hunt” and a “disaster for our country,” according to the AP. The Mueller investigation has led to charges against more than 30 people and entities.
Republican Rep. Mark Amodei’s spokeswoman Logan Ramsey said in a statement provided to the Sun that Amodei supported enforcing sanctions against Russia through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which Trump signed last year. Ramsey did not say that Amodei agreed with Trump’s characterization of the Muller investigation.
“Rep. Amodei has made it clear on several occasions that he supports any process that gets to the bottom of these matters — including those surrounding the Russia investigation — as quickly as possible so Congress can continue focusing on the issues that are most important to the American people, like health care, immigration reform, and the economy,” Ramsey said.
Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is challenging Republican Sen. Dean Heller for his seat, said in a statement that election interference from those outside the U.S. is “clearly a real threat,” and that Congress “has an important role” in making sure the country safeguards its democratic processes. Rosen cosponsored a bill requiring cause to fire the special counsel.
"Each new indictment and guilty plea that has come out of the Mueller investigation underscores why I’m fighting to protect the special counsel’s ability to continue this important and impartial work without political meddling,” Rosen said. “I’ve also supported enforcing sanctions against Russia and holding them accountable for their efforts to disrupt the 2016 election.”
Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen and Republican Sen. Dean Heller did not respond on Friday and Monday to whether they agree with the president on the Mueller investigation. Heller spokeswoman Megan Taylor said in a statement that Heller supported the Russian sanctions bill that was signed into law.
“While I am not opposed to a dialogue between the two leaders, I trust our intelligence community's assessment on Russian interference, not Vladimir Putin's,” Heller said in a statement. “He is no friend of the United States and I don’t trust him.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump and Putin’s meeting that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, trying to “undermine Democracy here and around the world.”
"That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence,” Ryan said in a statement. “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy."
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said on Twitter that Trump let Putin “off the hook,” and Rep. Dina Titus said the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies reported in 2016 that Russians targeted the election.
“The president is quick to criticize our Justice Department but refuses to acknowledge this assault on our democratic institutions,” Titus said. “In fact, he encouraged this criminal activity by publicly calling on Russia to hack American citizens.”