There is no excuse for Trump’s and Stefanik’s failures

All members of Congress take the following oath upon entering public service: “I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” While the presidential oath is not identical, we expect him to govern by the same standard.

You might recall that in November 2017, Donald Trump stood by Vladimir Putin and said this about Putin’s denials of Russian interference in our elections: “I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.” This was after the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency all reported “high confidence” that Russia interfered in 2016 election.

Then in June 2018 Robert Mueller’s investigation charged 12 Russians with participating in “large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” Three days later Trump stood beside Putin and said this “He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Now we have the Mueller report which begins with this statement: “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” While many claim that Mueller exonerated the president, the report lays out many contacts between the Trump campaign and individuals associated with the Russian government. Virtually all of these contacts were initially concealed and many later were lied about. “The Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from Russian efforts.” It is clear the Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference.

On May 3, two weeks after release of the Mueller report, Trump called Putin. Trump says they discussed the “Russian Hoax” and agreed that the investigation was a “mountain that ended up being a mouse.” Asked whether he raised the issue of potential Russian interference in the 2020 election during their hour long conversation, he admitted that he did not.

Russia is an enemy of the United States. Our president has repeatedly failed in his constitutional duty to protect our nation against their attacks on our system of government. Trump’s conduct raises grave questions about his patriotism. Our representative Elise Stefanik, like most members of her party, has failed in her constitutional duty to confront the president’s failure to defend our country. There is no excuse for these failures. Both need to go.