Senate resolution backs intelligence community on Russian meddling
© Greg Nash

Sens. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Senate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' Hillicon Valley: Cryptocurrency amendment blocked in Senate | Dems press Facebook over suspension of researchers' accounts | Thousands push back against Apple plan to scan US iPhones for child sexual abuse images MORE (D-Del.) are introducing a resolution supporting the intelligence community's assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election days after President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE voiced skepticism about Moscow's election interference.

Flake and Coons said on Wednesday that they will try to pass their resolution on Thursday. Under Senate rules, any one senator will be able to block them.

The resolution doesn't directly mention Trump but comes after the president on Monday refused to denounce Russia's election meddling and appeared to echo Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial of Moscow's work to influence the election.

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"This body must reaffirm that we stand with the men and women of the Department of Justice. ... I hope the president will take the word of our intelligence agencies rather than the empty words of a dictator," Flake said in a statement.

Coons added that in light of Trump's comments this week "it’s important for the Senate to speak in a clear, bipartisan voice to say that we stand with and believe our Department of Justice and our Intelligence Community and that we will not tolerate future attacks from Russia or anyone else on our democracy."

The resolution would commend the Justice Department for investigating Russia's election interference.

In addition to Russian election interference, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE is also probing potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Trump has dismissed the probe as a "witch hunt."

The resolution agrees with the intelligence community's findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and that Russia should be held accountable.

It also calls on the administration to fully implement the sanctions against Russia that Congress passed last year and urges congressional oversight "including prompt hearings and the release of relevant note and information" so Congress can understand the Helsinki summit.

Trump sparked a political firestorm on Monday when he refused to denounce Russia’s election meddling during a joint press conference with Putin following a one-on-one meeting in Helsinki.

He tried to walk that back on Tuesday saying he accepts the intelligence community's finding but added that "other people" could have also meddled. 

When asked by reporters Wednesday if Russia still poses a threat to the U.S., Trump said no. But White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was "saying 'no' to answering questions" and not to the reporter's question itself."