Russian inquests about US, not Trump

Farmington Daily Times

Donald Trump’s supporters think this “Russia thing” is about their president.
It’s not. It’s about their country. It’s about preserving the integrity of our election system after a hostile foreign nation tried to exert influence in the United States.
Sen. John McCain is widely recognized for his knowledge of foreign affairs and his no-nonsense approach to protecting our national security.
When asked to name the biggest threat this country faces today, Arizona’s senior senator did not hesitate to say “Russia.”
During his visit to The Arizona Republic editorial board Thursday, McCain offered an analysis of the situation that reflects the dangers of the modern world.
Terrorist groups, like ISIS, pose an ongoing threat, and they will continue to launch attacks, he said. But they do not have the military capability, technology and ambition to back up their intent to rule the world.
Russia does. And Russia is not a friend to the free world.
In addition to attempting to influence the 2016 presidential campaign in this country, evidence suggests Russia also sought to influence the recent presidential election in France. Germany expects Putin’s hackers to try to influence its Sept. 24 general elections.
Russia has established a presence in the Middle East and continues to exert pressure on eastern European countries, McCain says.
Vladimir Putin is an authoritarian leader on a mission to expand his sphere of influence. He set his sights on the U.S. election, and he will take what he learned from the 2016 effort to perfect his strategies.
He will be back. We’d better be ready.
Trump expresses his admiration of Putin. McCain characterized Putin late last year as “a thug and a murderer and a killer and a KGB agent.” Evidence backs up McCain's assessment.
U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed Russia's meddling in our 2016 election. Trump continues to denigrate efforts to fully investigate what happened.
We can be thankful for wiser heads.
Russia’s outrageous intrusion into our national sovereignty was one of the reasons the U.S. Congress passed sanctions against Russia by a veto-proof margin.
Signed reluctantly by Donald Trump on Wednesday, the bill also sanctioned North Korea and Iran, and it reiterates U.S. objections to Russia’s aggression against the Ukraine.
Congress needs to keep up the pressure and the bipartisanship.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly impaneled at least two grand juries, which would provide broad power to call witnesses to testify and to subpoena documents relating to Russia’s cyberattacks on our 2016 election. This could be a valuable investigative tool.
Americans deserve clear, detailed answers that reflect the gravity of this threat.
As president of this great country, Trump should be the most vocal in supporting investigations into what happened and how it happened. That’s the only way we can fight back. The only way we can be ready for what Putin tries next.
Trump mistakenly sees the investigations into Russian hacking as being all about him. A “witch hunt,” he calls it. At a recent rally in West Virginia, he called it a “total fabrication.” His supporters cheered.
But it's real and it isn’t about Donald Trump -- presuming the president and his campaign did nothing wrong.
It is about America.
It is about confronting a significant threat to our national security.
Arizona Republic, Aug. 6, 2017