GOP senator: Trump needs to ‘apply pain’ to Russia

GOP senator: Trump needs to ‘apply pain’ to Russia

Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Israeli, Palestinian business leaders seek Trump boost for investment project The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo MORE (R-Okla.) is calling on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE to "apply pain" to punish Russia for its efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

Lankford, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Moscow's role in the election, told ABC News's "Powerhouse Politics" podcast that he was pleased to hear the president acknowledge on Thursday that Russia had interfered in the election.

But Washington, he said, must "continue to apply pressure" to deter future meddling attempts by the Kremlin.


"I'm so glad to hear him step out and to be able to say that, but it's also important that we continue to apply pressure," Lankford said. "Once you know they're trying to interfere in our election system, what do you do? How do you apply pain?"

"So my issue now is: What is the clear pain that Russia will experience based on their actions?" he added. "Because I don't think they change the behavior until they actually have experienced some sort of pain."

Lankford proposed a two-tiered response to the meddling efforts, consisting of continued sanctions against Russia and the development of a "cyber doctrine" — a formal plan for responding to cyberattacks.

“It's something we worked with the Obama administration for years on,” he said. “To have a clear policy that can be put out, that if any nation, whether it's North Korea, Iran, China, Russia, whoever it may be — if they try to interfere in any of our infrastructure, or our systems through a cyberattack, we have a structured response that they know: ‘If you do this, then this is how we respond.’ "

Lankford's comments came as Trump prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties We have now reached a code red moment in American democracy Jane Harman: NATO must use its brain cells to battle these threats MORE on Friday during the annual Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

It isn't yet clear if Trump will bring up Russia's interference in the election with Putin during the highly anticipated meeting.