McConnell reassures Europe on Russia

McConnell reassures Europe on Russia
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell in talks with Mnuchin on next phase of coronavirus relief Pelosi: 'We shouldn't even be thinking' about reopening schools without federal aid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sought to reassure European allies following President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE’s chummy press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We value the NATO treaty,” McConnell declared at a weekly press conference, seeking to clean some of the fallout after Trump’s contentious meeting with NATO allies in Brussels earlier this month.

“We believe the European Union counties are our friends and the Russians are not,” McConnell told reporters. “We understand the Russian threat.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He said Russians have demonstrated their hostility by annexing Crimea, by invading Ukraine and by interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, calling the evidence of that meddling “indisputable.”

McConnell said those views are held widely in the Senate GOP conference, which finished meeting moments before the press conference began.

He said colleagues are mulling several legislative options to push back against Trump’s embrace of Putin.

“Sen. Rubio, for example, has got a bill that targets the 2018 election, the cycle we’re right in now,” McConnell noted, citing a bill sponsored by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioChina sanctions Cruz, Rubio, others over Xinjiang legislation The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K GOP chairman vows to protect whistleblowers following Vindman retirement over 'bullying' MORE (R-Fla.) that would impose penalties on Russia if it again interferes with a U.S. election.