Quantcast
Connect with us

GOP senators who visited Moscow can’t get their story straight on what happened there

Published

on

While many of the GOP senators sent on a delegation to Moscow the week of July 4 agreed that the meetings were tense as they attempted to hold the Kremlin’s feet to the fire, one outlier is singing an entirely different tune.

The Daily Beast reported that in interviews with the website, all but one of the senators agreed that behind closed doors, they grilled Kremlin officials about a host of issues — most notably, about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. That’s what makes public comments from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) all the stranger.

ADVERTISEMENT

After returning from the trip, which lasted nine days, Johnson told reporters that Russia’s electoral interference is “not the greatest threat to our democracy,” and that Americans have “blown it way out of proportion.” He also suggested the US re-evaluate its sanctions against the country, claiming that “you’d be hard-pressed to say that sanctions against Russia are really working all that well,” the Beast noted.

Johnson’s comments stand in direct contrast to public statements made by the likes of Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), who yesterday told CNN that he personally warned Kremlin officials to “stop screwing with American elections.” He also had choice insults for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who he called a “bully” and a “wise-ass.”

“The Russian leadership that we met with talked about the sanctions and how they were making no difference, but then they kept talking about the sanction,” Kennedy told the Beast.

The Louisiana senator told the Beast that in a briefing by ambassadors at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, the group was informed that the Kremlin believed “only Democrats were critical of Russia for its election-meddling and its incursions into eastern Europe and the Middle East.” Kennedy then sought to “disabuse them of that notion” and convey the seriousness of the threat of increased sanctions.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), another member of the delegation, suggested to the Beast that Johnson may have drawn his conclusions about the effectiveness of the sanctions from a group of American businesspeople they met with in Russia. Johnson, the report noted, has appeared to walk back his comments since he first made them upon returning to the US from Moscow.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We need to take a look at what works,” the Wisconsin senator told the Beast. “We need to get something that works to actually change their behavior. I’m not talking about lessening them at all.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

New Zealand eruption death toll rises to 18

Published

on

The death toll from New Zealand's White Island volcano eruption rose to 18 Sunday, including two people whose bodies have not been recovered, police said.

A land search early Sunday failed to find any sign of the missing pair and divers returned to the sea in the afternoon amid increasing speculation both could be in the water.

Deputy police commissioner Mike Clement said there was "every chance" the bodies had been washed into the sea from the stream where they were last seen Monday.

He added that searchers were "satisfied that the area we searched near the jetty is clear of the bodies".

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Anger, relief but no joy as UN climate talks limp to an end

Published

on

A marathon UN summit wrapped up Sunday with little to show, squeezing hard-earned compromises from countries over a global warming battle plan that fell well short of what science says is needed to tackle the climate crisis.

The COP25 deal "expresses the urgent need" for new carbon cutting commitments to close the gap between current emissions and the Paris treaty goal of capping temperature at below two degrees, host country Spain said in a statement.

"Today the citizens of the world are asking for us to move ahead faster and better, in financing, adaptation, mitigation," Carolina Schmidt, Chilean environment minister and President of COP25, told the closing plenary.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

UK opposition chief Corbyn ‘sorry’ for election wipeout

Published

on

Britain's main opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn apologised Sunday for waging a disastrous campaign that handed Prime Minister Boris Johnson a mandate to take the UK out of the EU next month.

But the veteran socialist defended his far-left platform and blamed the media for helping relegate his century-old party to its worst performance since before World War II.

"I will make no bones about it. The election result on Thursday was a body blow for everyone who so desperately needs real change in our country," Corbyn wrote in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

"I wanted to unite the country that I love but I'm sorry that we came up short and I take my responsibility for it."

Continue Reading