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Senator Lankford Statement on Trump-Putin Press Conference

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement on the President’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin: 

“I trust the assessments from Dan Coats and Gina Haspel and their Intelligence teams more than I trust a former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin. It is a fact that Russian entities hacked US presidential campaign accounts, launched cyber-attacks against at least 21 states, attacked US voting system software companies, and engaged in social media misinformation campaigns during the 2016 campaign. There is no evidence that any member of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, but there is plenty of evidence that the Russians aggressively attempted to interfere in our election.

“Every US President should develop a working relationship with global leaders. But, as the world’s only superpower, we should unequivocally denounce Russia’s election interference activities and human rights offenses around the world.

“There are many issues to be resolved between our countries and many presidents have attempted to reconcile relationships. President George W. Bush said after he met with Putin, ‘I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.’ President Obama declared a ‘reset’ with Russia and asked to wait until after the election so he could have more ‘flexibility.’ Neither of those attempts ended successfully and President Trump is following in their footprints by blaming America for the bad relationship with Russia and seeing no reason to doubt Putin.”

Lankford, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has introduced bipartisan election security legislation that strengthens election cybersecurity in America.