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Sen. Cory Gardner renews call for Russia to be declared sponsor of terrorism

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing for Michael Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Secretary of State nominee for the Trump administration, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto/Zuma Press/TNS)
September 12, 2018

A recent report that Russia is likely behind mysterious “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Cuba and China has led a Republican senator to renew his call to designate Russia a state sponsor of terror.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., has introduced legislation that would require the State Department to make such a determination about the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If the NBC News reports are true, this is a direct attack by Russia against the United States,” Gardner said. “As the facts of this heinous act are further ascertained, I urge the Senate to pass my legislation requiring the State Department to consider the designation of Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, as well as a comprehensive sanctions package against Russia I introduced last month with Sen. Lindsey Graham.”

Gardner was referring to both his own bill and the Graham “sanctions bill from hell” with Foreign Relations ranking Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

The Senate’s schedule for September is already pretty full, with spending bills, major authorization measures and the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Gardner and like-minded senators will probably keep pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for some time on the floor.

McConnell said in August that the odds of the sanctions measures making the September agenda were “pretty slim.”


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