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Senator Tom Cotton slams Russia after Trump-Putin summit

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
July 19, 2018

A Republican senator has come out slamming Russia following the Helsinki summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sen. Tom Cotton is the latest Republican to remark on the summit, and he waged his criticism at Russia, referring to Putin as an “adversary” and calling on a strategic offensive against the country, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

“U.S.–Russia relations remain at a historic low for one simple reason: Vladimir Putin is a committed adversary of the United States,” Cotton said.

“In the last few years alone, Russia meddled in our presidential campaign, violated arms-control treaties with the United States, invaded Ukraine, assassinated political opponents in the United Kingdom, made common cause with Iran in propping up Bashar al-Assad’s outlaw regime in Syria, and cheated not only in the Olympics, but even in the Paralympics,” he continued.

“These are not the actions of a friend, an ally, or merely a nation with aligned interests,” Cotton added.

“Until Russian behavior changes, our policy should not change. The United States should stay on the strategic offensive against Russia by maintaining sanctions, rebuilding our military, modernizing our nuclear forces, expanding missile defenses, sending more weapons to our allies, and producing more oil and gas. Strength is the one language for which Vladimir Putin needs no interpreter,” Cotton concluded.

This is not the first time Cotton has publicly criticized Russia.

In January, he spoke out against the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

“Vladimir Putin has once again thrown Alexei Navalny in jail because he is afraid of his own people — and what they would do if they were free,” Cotton said in a statement. “Every time he imprisons an opposition leader, it only shows the world just how corrupt and oppressive his regime truly is.”

Cotton is among other Republicans to speak critically after the Trump-Putin summit.

Some joined Democrats in directly criticizing President Trump, while others aimed their criticism at Russia, as Cotton did.

Senators Ron Johnson, John Hoeven, John Thune and Steve Daines are a few members of the GOP to remark on Russia’s bad behaviors, calling for sanctions against Russia to hold the nation accountable.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that 71 percent of Republicans approved of President Trump’s approach to Russia at the Helsinki summit, while only 14 percent of Democrats approved.

On Tuesday, President Trump clarified some of his remarks made at the joint press conference in Helsinki.

“I have full faith and support for America’s intelligence agencies,” Trump said, adding that he accepts U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusions regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.