Senate Intel Committee warns Trump to stay out of ‘foreign influence operations’

Senate Intel Committee warns Trump to stay out of ‘foreign influence operations’
Volodymyr Zelensky, Image via Wikimedia Commons / Government of Ukraine.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee released a report outlining steps that should be taken to prevent “foreign influence campaigns” from interfering in the 2020 presidential election.

One of the key recommendations was that President Donald Trump stop asking for political help from such schemes — despite the fact that less than 24 hours before, a majority of the committee’s members voted to acquit Trump of abuse of power for trying to do precisely that.

“The President of the United States should take steps to separate himself … from political considerations when handling issues related to foreign intelligence operations,” stated the report. “These steps should explicitly include putting aside politics when addressing the American people on election threats and marshalling all the resources of the U.S. Government to effectively confront the threat.”

Trump has famously shifted between downplaying election security threats from Russia, and openly inviting foreign powers to attack his opponents. In 2016, he urged Russia to find and release Hillary Clinton’s “missing” emails — which was shortly followed by a series of leaks of stolen communications from Democrats that were ultimately found to have originated from Russian military operatives.

More recently, the president pressured the president of Ukraine to announce an “investigation” into former Vice President Joe Biden’s family, which led to his impeachment for abuse of power.

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