Trump's backers in Congress are going all-in for Putin over American law enforcement.
Trump's top congressional defenders are siding with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin and Trump by dismissing conclusive evidence that Russia influenced the election on Trump's behalf.
After Attorney General William Barr released his incomplete summary of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump's acolytes took the opportunity to again promote their lies about Russia and the election.
"It was hardworking Americans who elected Donald J. Trump -- not Russians," said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-SC).
"It was not 'Russians' who elected Donald Trump — it was the 63 million Americans who voted for him," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said in a statement.
"The Trump Administration can now focus on implementing the America first policies President Trump campaigned and won on fair and square," said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
Their statements echo Putin's official stance.
"Our country has not interfered in the domestic affairs of other countries, including the United States," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday.
"All of the accusations were proved to be trumped up," wrote Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian senate's information committee.
Putin has long maintained, with Trump's help, that the Russian government didn't meddle in the election.
Putin, Trump, and congressional Republicans stand on the opposite side of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, who investigated Russia's activities before the 2016 election. They concluded that Russia was attempting to sway the race's results in favor of Trump, who they viewed would be softer on them than Sec. Hillary Clinton.
Even the summary offered by Barr — despite its flaws and conclusions based on material Americans have not seen — makes the case that Russia pushed for a Trump victory by clandestine means.
"The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts," Barr states in his summary.
Barr's letter also notes that Mueller "determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election."
One effort was to "conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election." The second was "the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election."
According to Barr's summary, the special counsel concluded that "Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks."
In their zeal to side with Trump and defend his compromised presidency, Republicans in Congress are more than willing to denigrate the work of American law enforcement and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Putin.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.