‘Russian Asset’ Mitch McConnell Accused Of Doing ‘Putin’s Bidding’ As Backlash Grows For Blocking Election Security Bills
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is under fire for repeatedly blocking election security legislation in recent days, claiming that securing the elections will “benefit Democrats.”.
The backlash reached a boiling point this week when the Senate Majority Leader blocked two attempts to pass election bills shortly after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned that foreign governments will interfere in the 2020 elections.
“We are not going to let Leader McConnell put the bills passed by the House into his legislative graveyard without a fight. You’re going to hear from us on this issue over and over again,” Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called McConnell “Russia’s biggest ally” in its meddling efforts, while Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Schumer’s No. 2, accused the GOP leader of “abdicating his responsibility to protect American democracy so he can protect a President who unravels it day-by-day.”
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank slammed McConnell, accusing him of “doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding” and labeled the GOP leader “a Russian asset.”
“This doesn’t mean he’s a spy, but neither is it a flip accusation,” Milbank wrote in an op-ed published by The Post.
“Russia attacked our country in 2016. It is attacking us today. Its attacks will intensify in 2020. Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell, the Senate majority leader, blocks us from defending ourselves,” Milbank continued.
“Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding,” he wrote.
Milbank cited statements by former special counsel Robert Mueller this week that Russia is continuing its efforts from 2016 to interfere in U.S. elections “as we sit here,” as well as other warnings of future meddling from Moscow from other intelligence officials.
The columnist accused McConnell of “aiding and abetting Putin’s dismantling of Americans’ self-governance,” adding, “A leader who won’t protect our country from attack is no patriot.”
One of the bills McConnell blocked would have mandated the use of paper ballots and included funding for the Election Assistance Commission. The other would require candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify the FBI of assistance offers from foreign governments.
“Mueller’s testimony was a clarion call for election security. Mueller’s testimony should be a wake-up call to every American, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, that the integrity of our elections is at stake. … This is all about the future of this country,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
The Senate majority leader has panned Democratic bills to boost election security as efforts to grant themselves “political benefit.”