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Senate pair introduces bipartisan resolution reaffirming Congress's support for intel community

Senate pair introduces bipartisan resolution reaffirming Congress's support for intel community
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A pair of senators on Thursday introduced a bipartisan resolution that both pledges to respond quickly and appropriately if a foreign nation carries out a cyberattack against the United States, and also reaffirm Congress's support for the U.S. intelligence community.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOpen-ended antitrust is an innovation killer FBI, DHS and Pentagon officials to testify on Capitol riot Five big takeaways on the Capitol security hearings MORE (Minn.), the top Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents John Boehner tells Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in unscripted audiobook asides: report MORE (R-S.C.), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, introduced the legislation nearly one week after President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE cast doubt on the intelligence community's assessment (ICA) that found Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

The resolution states that the "Senate unequivocally agrees with the conclusions" of the ICA that Putin sought to influence the 2016 presidential election, as well as acknowledge that U.S. elections "remain a target for Russia." 

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It also reaffirms that it is the policy of the U.S. to "defend against and respond to cyber-attacks against our election infrastructure," and that such attacks "should be met with appropriate retaliatory actions."

“It is extremely important that Congress recognize the threat to our electoral system coming from Russia and act in a decisive way. The first step in solving any problem is to identify it. This resolution is a giant step forward,” Graham said in a statement.

Klobuchar underscored the importance of the resolution as the 2018 midterms quickly approach.

“Election security is national security. With only 103 days until the next election, it is more important than ever that the United States acknowledges Russia’s cyber-attacks on our democracy and takes all possible steps to secure our future elections,” Klobuchar said in a statement. 

“Passing this bipartisan resolution sends a clear message to Putin that we are united in our commitment,” she continued.

Trump ignited bipartisan outcry at the Helsinki summit last Monday when he appeared to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

He made his comments standing beside the Kremlin leader — an event that had the world watching.

“I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said. “I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

The backlash was so fierce that Trump walked back his comments a day later, stating that he accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusions, that he has “full faith” in them and meant to say "wouldn't."

But even as he was walking back his comments, he again expressed doubt about Russia’s involvement adding that "it could be other people also."

His appearance with Putin come shortly after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE indicted a group of Russian intelligence officers for hacking and then releasing documents from the Democratic National Committee.