- CNN host Chris Cuomo grilled White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on the Trump administration’s Monday decision not to impose new sanctions on Russia.
- Cuomo argued that the Trump administration is refusing to punish Russia for interfering in the 2016 US presidential election.
- “They interfered in the election to try to disrupt our democracy,” Cuomo said of the Russians. “Punish them for what they did.”
CNN host Chris Cuomo grilled White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on the Trump administration’s Monday decision not to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 US presidential election – actions which the US intelligence community found were designed to boost President Donald Trump’s candidacy and hurt his then-Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
On Monday, the Trump administration announced that it would not impose sanctions on countries that purchase Russian military equipment, despite overwhelming congressional support for the sanctions.
Conway argued on CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday morning that the president has been “plenty tough” on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, the intelligence community found, helped orchestrate the election meddling.
She argued that Trump has been “very tough about energy, about ISIS” and that the White House is trying to “work together with Russia on big issues of the day like a de-nuclearized North Korea.”
“In exchange, you won’t punish them for what they did in the election?” Cuomo interjected.
“What did they do in the election, Chris?” Conway asked.
“They interfered in the election to try to disrupt our democracy,” Cuomo responded. “Punish them for what they did.”
Political observers viewed Trump’s decision on the sanctions as a test of his willingness to punish Russia for its wide-ranging interference, which is the subject of major investigations being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional committees.
Trump has repeatedly criticized and attempted to discredit the Russia investigation in public and in private – at points calling it a “witch hunt,” a “hoax,” and the Democratic Party’s “excuse” for losing the 2016 election. He has also described the Russia probe as a “cloud” over his presidency.
Asked why the White Housedidn’t impose new Russia sanctions, Kellyanne Conway says,”The State Department and the Treasury Department made theirindependent determinations … this President’s been plentytough on Putin and Russia” https://t.co/gMw8l1Hxt5 https://t.co/pPbLrWLc2w
— New Day (@NewDay) January 30, 2018
Bryan Logan contributed to this report.