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In Senate floor speech, Senator Murray delivers blistering rebuke of President Trump’s remarks praising Russian President Putin during July 16 summit in Helsinki

Senator Murray: “…it was truly horrifying and deeply alarming that President Trump failed to use that moment to push President Putin to end his attacks on our country and our elections—and failed to condemn the Kremlin’s interference in the elections of our allies”

Senator Murray: “Today, President Trump desperately tried to backtrack. But we know where he stands—and we all heard what he said on the world stage just yesterday”

Senator Murray outlines five things Republicans could do right now: strengthen Russian sanctions; demand answers and notes from Trump Administration officials about President Trump’s closed door meeting with Putin; stand up for and protect federal law enforcement & intelligence entities, including the special counsel; insist President Trump demand the extradition of the 12 Russians indicted for their attacks on our elections; and pass election security legislation

Senator Murray: “Stand not just with Democrats—stand with people across the country in not only condemning President Trump, but in taking action to hold Russia accountable and protect our country from future attacks”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S REMARKS BELOW OR HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-WA) denounced President Trump’s remarks made during his July 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and called on Republicans to stand with Democrats to hold President Trump accountable for undermining America’s values and interests on the world stage. In a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Murray took President Trump to task for blaming America for foreign attacks on our elections and our democracy and for praising Putin, who has sponsored and supported countless efforts around the globe to destabilize our democracy through the “undemocratic, authoritarian, and repressive rule” of his regime.

Senator Murray urged Republicans to defend the integrity and foundational values of our nation and join Democrats and people around the country to hold President Trump accountable for his “shocking and repeated failures,” calling for Congress to hold hearings on the Trump-Putin summit and receive a record of any notes from their one-on-one meeting. She also laid out five things Republicans could do immediately to condemn President Trump’s action, including: strengthen the sanctions against Russia for its aggression around the world;  demand answers from Secretary Pompeo and the other members of the Trump national security team—especially about what the president may have promised Putin during their closed-door meeting—and for them to provide Congress with any notes from the meeting that may exist; stand up for and protect the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the special counsel; insist the president demand the extradition of the 12 Russians indicted for their attacks on our elections; and pass critical election security legislation.

Prior to her floor speech, Senator Murray reiterated her belief in the U.S intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump at the direction of President Putin, and blasted President Trump’s reckless rejection of this consensus.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“And so now, I ask, what will Congressional Republicans do about it? Many Republican members of Congress are acting as if they just have a twitter feed—as if they aren’t the party in control of the Senate and the House—as if they don’t have the ability to actually make a difference and demand change…[t]he time for handwringing and hoping the problem just goes away is over. With the power to call up legislation and hold hearings—Republican leaders have options, and they certainly have a whole lot of Democrats who stand ready and willing to help.”

“…[i]t was truly horrifying and deeply alarming that President Trump failed to use that moment to push President Putin to end his attacks on our country and our elections—and failed to condemn the Kremlin’s interference in the elections of our allies.”

“It is time: to strengthen the sanctions against Russia for its aggression around the world; to demand answers from Secretary Pompeo and the other members of the Trump national security team—especially about what the president may have promised Putin during their closed-door meeting—and for them to provide Congress with any notes from the meeting that may exist; to stand up for and protect the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the special counsel; to insist the president demand the extradition of the 12 Russians indicted for their attacks on our elections; and to pass election security legislation.”

“This is not a partisan issue. This about defending the integrity and foundational values of our nation. This is about Congress doing its Constitutional job and holding the President accountable for his shocking and repeated failures. This is about telling our allies around the world they can still depend on the leadership of the United States. And this is about putting the country before party. Stand not just with Democrats—stand with people across the country by taking action to hold Russia accountable and protect our country from future attacks. And ask President Trump, just why he is choosing to defend Russia and blame America.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks below:

“Thank you, M. President.

“Just yesterday the world watched as President Trump— standing in front of the American flag, side-by-side with Vladmir Putin— not only betrayed the dedicated men and women of the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities—

“…but then showered praise upon the Russian President—the man who directed the interference of our elections.

 “This prompted outcry from members on both sides of the aisle—as it should.

“I read statements from my colleagues that were very strong in condemning President Trump’s for putting Russia ahead of the U.S. – using terms like ‘shameful,’ and ‘disgraceful.’

“And not just from Republicans who have bravely stood up to this President before—I heard members of Congress, and even some Fox News contributors, unable to twist themselves into defending this President, in this moment, as he so clearly undercuts our own country.

“M. President—I’m glad they spoke up.

“Because words matter.

“But you know what also matters?

“Action.

“And so now, I ask, what will Congressional Republicans do about it?

“Many Republican members of Congress are acting as if they just have a twitter feed—as if they aren’t the party in control of the Senate and the House—as if they don’t have the ability to actually make a difference and demand change.

“M. President, frankly, this is absurd.

“The time for handwringing and hoping the problem just goes away is over.

“With the power to call up legislation and hold hearings—Republican leaders have options, and they certainly have a whole lot of Democrats who stand ready and willing to help.

“Because M. President, it was truly horrifying and deeply alarming that President Trump failed to use that moment to push President Putin to end his attacks on our country and our elections…

“…and failed to condemn the Kremlin’s interference in the elections of our allies.

“Or Putin’s support of the brutal Assad regime and connections to chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government.

“Or the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

“Or the 2014 downing of MH-17 over Ukraine where 295 people were killed.

“Or the murder of journalists and opposition politicians.

“Or the use of chemical weapons.

“Or the undemocratic, authoritarian, and repressive rule of the Putin regime and how it actively works against our American principles.

“Instead of standing up for our values and our national security, our President defended Putin on all fronts.

“Instead of putting “America First”, he performed Putin’s bidding by attacking our closest allies and trying to dismantle NATO.

“Today, President Trump desperately tried to backtrack.

“But we know where he stands—and we all heard what he said on the world stage just yesterday.

“This is appalling and inexcusable.  And it is unworthy of the Presidency.

 “So my message to every member of the Senate – and to every member of the other body – is clear.

 “It is time to strengthen the sanctions against Russia for its aggression around the world; to demand answers from Secretary Pompeo and the other members of the Trump national security team—especially about what the president may have promised Putin during their closed-door meeting—and for them to provide Congress with any notes from the meeting that may exist; to stand up for and protect the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the special counsel; to insist the president demand the extradition of the 12 Russians indicted for their attacks on our elections; and to pass election security legislation.

“This is not a partisan issue. 

“This about defending the integrity and foundational values of our nation. 

“This is about Congress doing its Constitutional job and holding the President accountable for his shocking and repeated failures. 

“This is about telling our allies around the world they can still depend on the United States. 

“And this is about putting the country before party.

“Stand not just with Democrats-- stand with people across the country by taking action to hold Russia accountable and protect our country from future attacks.

“And ask President Trump, just why he is choosing to defend Russia and blame America.

“And ask, what, or who, is motivating him.

“Because it’s certainly not the American people, our security, our values, or our future.

“Thank you, I yield the floor.”