If there has been any benefit from Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, it’s that it has raised awareness about President Vladimir Putin’s broader threat to democracies in Europe and elsewhere. In the face of complacency from Republicans fearful of what attention to these intrigues might reveal about the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia, Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have issued a report that appears to be the most comprehensive public accounting of Russia’s war on the West. It drives home the point that the 2016 election, which every American intelligence agency has said involved Russian interference to help elect Donald Trump, is part of a pattern in which Mr. Putin has worked to erode Western institutions and undermine faith in democratic practices.
Few countries in Europe have escaped his malign intrusions. The report should serve as an alert for the United States to work urgently with its allies to protect democracy.
There is a significant impediment, however, and that is President Trump and the congressional leaders who enable him. Mr. Trump persists in his bizarre fascination with Mr. Putin and refuses to acknowledge that Russia poses a security threat, even though his own recently released national security strategy says Russia, along with China, seeks to “challenge American influence, values and wealth.” Republicans in Congress have expressed more concern about those who revealed Russia’s meddling than about the meddling, and have done nothing to ensure it cannot be repeated.