Faso: Kremlin meddled in election to “destabilize and divide” U.S.

Rep. John Faso issued an unequivocal condemnation of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election on Tuesday, after joining colleagues from both parties in a nearly unanimous vote to tighten sanctions against Russia, as well as Iran and North Korea.

“Vladimir Putin’s Russia is no ally of ours,” Faso, a Columbia County Republican whose district includes Ulster and Sullivan counties, said in a press release after the vote. “The Kremlin’s efforts to influence the 2016 election cycle prove that its ultimate goal is to destabilize and divide the United States. Today my colleagues and I rebuked these provocative actions by Russia and sent a clear message to others who would attempt to disrupt our democratic process: Americans will always stand united in defense of our values.”

The House passed the sanctions in a 419-3 vote, and the Senate voted 98-2 in support of it two days later. President Donald Trump scoffs at his intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Russia interfered in the election, but hasn’t said if he will sign or veto the sanctions bill. Congress would likely override him if he vetoed it.

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    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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