In a highly anticipated report due to be released on Wednesday, congressional Democrats are expected to raise renewed concerns over mounting evidence of Russian interference in at least 19 European nations, according to the Associated Press, which obtained an advance copy. The 200-plus pages report, commissioned by Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, directly targets President Trump for failing to respond to the threat, even as other nations in Europe have taken much stronger measures to counter Russian efforts in the region. “Never before has a U.S. president so clearly ignored such a grave and growing threat to U.S. national security,” the report warns, according to AP. Even though American intelligence agencies agree that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections and have stood by their assessment, Trump has sent out mixed messages.
After appearing to back the agencies, Trump later backtracked last November and publicly recalled Russian President Vladimir Putin telling him that “he didn’t meddle.”
“I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said at the time, referring to Putin’s earlier remarks.
European leaders have long greeted Putin’s assurances with a bit more skepticism, given a long record of what they perceived to have been deliberate deceptions by the Russian leader.