Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Who Will Listen to Democrats' Warning on Russian Federation?

Who Will Listen to Democrats' Warning on Russian Federation?

Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, who is Jewish and the top Democrat on the committee, said the report's release is timely because he believes US President Donald Trump is ignoring the threat to democratic institutions that the Russian president is sowing throughout the West, including the United States.

The report warns that unless the US acts to counter the threat soon, Moscow will grow only more aggressive.

Despite President Donald Trump's repeated questioning of claims that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 USA elections, top Democratic lawmakers are urging immediate steps to prevent Kremlin-directed meddling from happening again. Moscow has recently relied more heavily on state-owned overseas networks such as Sputnik and RT to carry out its will, even beyond larger nations like the US and the United Kingdom.

Russian Federation also has rejected allegations of interfering with European elections.

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The United States is at risk of more cyberattacks from Russian Federation if the White House doesn't develop a plan to combat almost two decades of meddling by the Kremlin, Senate Democrats charged Wednesday.

"The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues", Trump tweeted this morning. "There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes", Mr. Trump tweeted. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., made one by releasing the transcript of a key interview given by a witness in the Senate Judiciary Committee's Russian Federation investigation. "Republicans should finally take control!"

The report also calls for committee hearings and for the US take other steps to help countries in Europe safeguard against Russian election interference. Ben Cardin said, "While President Trump stands practically idle, Mr. Putin continues to refine his asymmetric arsenal and look for future opportunities to disrupt governance and erode support for the democratic and worldwide institutions that the United States and Europe have built over the last 70 years".

Cardin, speaking at the German Marshall Fund on Wednesday, said that, "we don't have a President yet to fully acknowledge what Russian Federation did to the United States in the elections". It is also a fact that Putin does this to other countries.

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Notably, it recommends the USA find ways to help Europe, and especially Eastern Europe, wean itself off being so dependent on Russian Federation for energy.

The report outlines two decades of tactics Putin has sharpened to undermine democracies overseas, including military force, cyber warfare, disinformation campaigns, organized crime and money laundering, meant to further entrench his grip on power, which he uses to enrich himself and a small circle of loyalists.

Although the US does not have a permanent base in the Baltics for a substantial number of troops, it was said to have deployed 150 soldiers to the region from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) after Russian Federation invaded Crimea in 2014, and has consistently rotated a troop presence since then. Putin also wants to discredit budding democracies on Russia's periphery that could be seen domestically as an appealing alternative to the corrupt and criminal rule Putin used to consolidate power at home.

Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged that anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny was being supported by the United States in his election bid. "While we will review the report in its entirety, including the recommendations, no further full committee activity is planned at this time". But the report says a hiring freeze and delays from senior leadership at the agency have prevented the funds from being transferred to the center.

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The report urged Mr Trump to look beyond the European Union, NATO, and other powerful member states' ministries to develop tactical responses to Putin's assault on democratic institutions and values across Europe.

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