ILLINOIS (WCIA) — During an interview with Capitol Connection that aired on Sunday, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) explained her statement claiming that it’s “very likely” that Vladimir Putin turned President Donald Trump into a Russian asset, “perhaps without his knowledge.”
“The fact of the matter is the President is turning his back on his own intelligence agencies and denying the facts that are at hand seeing that Russia has interfered with our elections,” Duckworth said.
“I can’t think of any other reason why this president would do that, other than the fact that the Russians have managed to convince him that their word — the word of Vladimir Putin — is something he should actually trust more than that of our own agencies here in the United States.”
Duckworth, a former combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient, called on Republicans in Congress to take action against Moscow and level new sanctions to punish the Russian Federation for hacking election systems, including a breach that compromised voter data at the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Duckworth doesn’t buy into the president’s rationale for his refusal to publicly criticize Vladimir Putin or the foreign policy of the Kremlin. President Trump has cast doubt on the effectiveness of such condemnations, suggesting they are not only unproductive, but can sometimes be counterproductive in bilateral talks with world powers.
“Look, he’s the leader of the free world,” Duckworth said. “The United States is the leader of the free world. His words have consequences. In the same week that he called our longest allies, greatest allies in NATO the enemy, he called Russia our friend. Russia, this is the nation that has attacked us and attacked our democracy.
“Not only has he not done anything in terms of actions,he doesn’t even have the words to condemn Russia. This is really troubling. He’s the Commander in Chief of our military and he has said nothing about Russia attacking us in cyber warfare.”
Duckworth also said she has “some real concerns” about the security of the upcoming November election in Illinois after a July 2016 breach.