At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut questioned the State Department’s work to counter Russian propaganda and disinformation while President Trump attacks U.S. media outlets.
Murphy, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, pressed U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell about the discrepancy between Trump’s tweets and state department policy, prompting this response from Mitchell.
“I just want to push back on this idea that there is a strategy that’s separate from the views of the President. This is the President’s administration, this is his foreign policy,” Mitchell said.
Murphy was not convinced.
“The President said yesterday that it might not have been Russia that interfered in the 2016 elections. That is not the policy of the U.S. State Department, right? But that’s what the President said yesterday.”
“I have a list in front of me with dates that I’d be happy to submit for the record, of the instances on which the President of the United States has been very clear in attributing to Russia, interference in our elections and pushing back on that,” Mitchell said.
“Got it…yesterday,” Murphy said.
Murphy was referring to an interview President Trump gave to Reuters on Monday. In the interview the President blamed the Mueller investigation for hampering his efforts to strengthen U.S. relations with Russia.