On Tuesday, Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that he is willing to allow Russia to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections before sanctioning them for their interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Speaking to CNN’s Erin Burnett, Risch welcomed Russia to interfere in the midterm elections.
Burnett pointed out that the Trump administration had waited until the last minute to provide Congress with a list of Russian oligarchs. Later, the administration said it would move to sanction Russia at a later date.
“Are you satisfied?” Burnett wondered. “Look, we did the sanctions for a very specific reason and that was to put an economic squeeze on Russia. These sanctions have done that. We were briefed on a number of transactions that were halted.”
“So, you’re saying that you don’t think there need to be more sanctions?” Burnett asked. “Or any on these individuals that are listed?”
“I wouldn’t put it that way,” the Republican Senator said. “I would put it this way. We have sanctions in place right now. They are actually working right now, according to the briefings we’ve had.”
“That doesn’t mean this thing is over with,” he continued. “That doesn’t mean this was done and that’s it. We’re going to watch this thing very closely. We’re in an election year, everyone is anticipating the Russians are going to do what they did in the last election and in elections before that and what they did in Germany and what they did in France.”
“And if they do that again,” Risch added, “you can assume those sanctions are going to get tightened even more on the Russians.”
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