Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
After the U.S. Justice Department announced an indictment of twelve Russian hackers involved in the Kremlin’s attacks on the 2016 election, a former GOP lawmaker warned that the charges represent a landmark moment â and not in a good way.
“What we saw today from [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein is a moment inÂ American history, and we shouldÂ be unequivocal in our response,” David Jolly, who served as a Florida congressman, said on MSNBC Friday. “And the president of the United States should be unequivocal. The Monday meeting should beÂ canceled â the bilateral meeting with Putin. We should eject RussianÂ diplomats and we should bringÂ our U.S. diplomats home fromÂ Russia.”
However, he acknowledged, there’s no way Trump will do that.
“The president has knownÂ for days about this and he didÂ not pivot in the pressÂ conference today to change hisÂ message nor is he changing theÂ meeting,” he continued.Â “And what Americans should feel today â and I say thisÂ carefully â but we should feelÂ fear. The Department of Justice todayÂ issued a statement on behalf ofÂ the United States governmentÂ saying that one of our greatestÂ adversaries in the world, Russia, had intelligence agentsÂ interfere with our elections. … We should be fearful about theÂ allegation. We should be fearful about theÂ statement of facts. At the end of the day, we shouldÂ be fearful we have a presidentÂ who has known about this and didÂ not change his behavior.”
Bret Stephens, aÂ New York TimesÂ columnist, agreed â and called out Republicans who ignore these crucial facts.
“If the facts were the same but Barack Obama were president, ifÂ we had just indicted 12 RussiansÂ for interfering in our electionÂ and yet President Barack Obama wasÂ going to meet Vladimir Putin andÂ doing so against the advice of his ownÂ party, with a suggestion thereÂ is a possibility of collusion,Â what would Republican leaders beÂ saying today?” he asked.
In fact, we know what they would say. StephensÂ reminded viewers ofÂ Republicans’ reactions when, in 2012, Obama was caught on a hot mic tellingÂ Putin that he’d have more flexibility to work together after the election.
“Republicans went berserk,” Stephens said. “They ran campaign ads about it. To those Republicans andÂ conservatives watching this,Â just apply the same standard to Donald Trump that you would haveÂ applied to President Obama.”
Watch the clip below:
“To those republicans and conservatives watching this, just apply the same standard to Donald Trump that you would have applied to President Obama.” pic.twitter.com/MEdUp5hv6k
â AlterNet (@AlterNet) July 13, 2018
Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on TwitterÂ @codytfenwick.