WASHINGTON (WDTN) – Relations between the US and Russia are complicated at best.
In a hearing on Tuesday State Department and Treasury officials detailed how Russia is trying to divide Americans.
“Putin wants to break apart the American republic. Not by influencing an election or two, but by systematically inflaming the fault lines within our society,” said A. Wess Mitchell of the US State Department.
Senator Rob Portman pointed to Microsoft’s new report of Russian cyber attacks, targeting US political groups ahead of the midterms. He urged his colleagues not to make this a political fight.
But several Senators, including Senator Ben Cardin argued, that’s exactly what the President has done with his rhetoric about the Russia investigation.
“There have been times when the President has made this a very partisan issue. We haven’t. He has!” said Cardin.
The administration officials defended the President, saying he has been tough on Russia, by applying sanctions and strengthening our military.
Senator Portman, Senator Todd Young and other lawmakers asked why Russia is still behaving badly, despite US efforts to stop it.
The officials insisted US sanctions are constraining the Putin regime and the situation would be much worse, without the administration’s actions.