13th District Candidates React To Trump’s Comments On Russia

July 17, 2018
Pres. Donald Trump speaking to reporters at the White House Tuesday.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters prior to a meeting with members of Congress in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday. Both U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and his Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londigan say that they believe Russia tried to interfere in U-S elections last years. Trump says he meant the opposite when he said in Helsinki that he doesn't see why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Andrew Harnik/AP

In Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, both Republican incumbent Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, have issued statements pushing back against President Trump’s controversial comments during his news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Both Davis and Londrigan say they believe U-S intelligence agencies that say Russia meddled in the 2016 U-S election.

“There should be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Russia meddled in our election”, said Davis in a statement issues a few hours after the president’s news conference in Helsinki, Finland.

The Taylorville Republican called for continued sanctions against Russia, and continued efforts to protect the nation’s voting systems from interference ---- especially Illinois’ voting system. The State Board of Elections says the U-S Department of Homeland Security confirmed that hackers were able to view Illinois voter registration records, although none were altered.

Davis noted that the most recent federal spending bill to be signed into law provided Illinois with $13.2 million to increase election security, and that Homeland Security officials praised the state for its cooperation and preparation for the upcoming election.

Davis’ statement does not mention President Trump, or his statements about Russian meddling in the last election. But Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s statement makes Trump the main subject.

The Springfield Democrat says that in deferring to Putin over U-S intelligence agencies, Trump is defying the tradition of past presidents who stood up for democratic values.

“We need leaders who will stand up for our democratic values”, stated Londrigan. “I will.”

Unlike Davis, Londrigan’s statement does not discuss any possible actions by Congress in response to Russian interference in U-S elections, or in response to the president’s comments.

The day after his joint news conference with Putin, President Trump told reporters he had misspoken, and that he accepts that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. But he still denies any collusion by Russian interests with his presidential campaign.

Story source: WILL