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MO, KS senators question Trump Russia summit

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 19:29:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Three Republican senators and one Democratic senator from Kansas and Missouri finally had one thing in common Monday.

The four all released statements criticizing a meeting held Monday between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The meeting featured a press conference in which the two world leaders spoke about Russian meddling in the 2016 United States elections.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R – Kansas) said the president missed an opportunity to “publicly condemn Russia for election interference or offer strong support for the NATO alliance.”

Moran also said it was important to support the intelligence community, a commonality among all four area senators.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R – Kansas) said Russia remains a threat to national security.

“Our intelligence community has proven Russia attempted to interfere with our elections,” Roberts said. “We have to remain vigilant when dealing with this dangerous adversary.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R – Missouri) sided with the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian election interference, adding that Putin is “a calculating adversary who is trying to exert all the influence he can anywhere he can.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D – Missouri), who is in a battle to retain her seat against presumptive GOP nominee Josh Hawley, said the president’s comments Monday “embolden the enemies of our country and erode the support of our allies.”

“I stand with my Republican colleagues who are calling out this unprecedented rebuke of our intelligence officers,” McCaskill said in a statement.

A Hawley campaign spokeswoman told 41 Action News late Monday afternoon that President Trump won the 2016 and people need to move on.

"President Trump won. Hillary lost," campaign spokeswoman Kelli Ford said. "It's time for Democrats and the media to move on, and the President should keep on being forceful with Russia."

Trump is expected in Kansas City next week to campaign for Hawley.