Mitch McConnell Defended by Trump, WSJ After Russia Smears

Posted: Jul 30, 2019 3:45 PM
Mitch McConnell Defended by Trump, WSJ After Russia Smears

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a speech on the Senate floor decrying the attacks against him for his opposition to election security bills, multiple allies have come to his defense. 

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board released an op-ed Tuesday defending McConnell and condemning the false attacks against the senator as a "toady of Russia." The piece offered an alternative explanation to why the majority leader opposed the Democrat's election security bills. 

[H]e opposes attempts to nationalize election rules and ballot procedures that have been historically managed by the states. This is his long-held position and makes sense since a national system would be easier to hack than the systems of 50 states. (WSJ)

After condemning the "McConnell-is-a-Russian-asset" smear by the Washington Post, the op-ed listed his actual record on Russia.

The truth is that Mr. McConnell has been far tougher on Vladimir Putin than most Democrats were across the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama Administrations. He pushed for tougher sanctions on Russia than the Obama crowd wanted and he supported the Magnitsky Act that has allowed the U.S. to sanction Mr. Putin’s cronies. He has also supported the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian meddling in 2016.

In addition to the WSJ piece, President Trump, when asked about the Washington Post article, also defended McConnell Tuesday. 

Trump: The Washington Post called Mitch McConnell WHAT? 

Reporters: “A Russian asset!”

Trump: I think the Washington Post is a Russian asset, by comparison. Mitch McConnell loves our country, he’s done a great job…..Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than Donald Trump, and I know nothing. So I think it’s a horrible thing….The Washington Post is fake news...If they actually said that, that Mitch McConnell is an asset of Russia, they ought to be ashamed of themselves and apologize. 

The controversy comes after multiple mainstream news outlets criticized McConnell for blocking Democratic-backed election security bills to the Senate. The Senate has already passed two election security related bills this year. 

Watch Trump's defense of McConnell here: