On Monday night, President Donald Trump stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and undermined his own intelligence services in deference to Putin—saying he didn’t “see any reason why it would be” Russia that interfered in the 2016 election (which it did).
In response to criticism, Trump reversed his statement over twenty-four hours later, saying that he misspoke during the news conference. Trump is now claiming that he meant to say “wouldn’t,” as opposed to “would,” and that the sentence should have read, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.”
However, the change to that single statement, which itself has been questioned by linguists, does nothing to alter his various other attacks on American intelligence services or deference to Putin. He did not, for example, retract his attacks on the FBI and Justice Department for their investigations into his campaign. He did not walk back his claim that “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of any Russian meddling. He did not change his assertion that both the United States and Russia are responsible for the decline in U.S.-Russia relations.
While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have publicly rebuked Trump’s comments, Republicans have mostly limited themselves to criticism where Democrats have been calling for action.
Here’s how North Carolina’s elected officials in Congress have reacted. We couldn’t find statements from Representatives David Rouzer, Richard Hudson, Robert Pittenger, Patrick McHenry, Tedd Budd, or Mark Meadows, all of whom are Republicans.
Senator Thom Tillis (R):
Senator Richard Burr (R) (Burr is also chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election with the aim of helping Trump win):
Representative G.K. Butterfield (D):
Representative George Holding (R):
Representative Walter Jones (R):
Representative David Price (D):
Representative Mark Walker (R):
Representative Alma Adams (D):
Representative Virginia Foxx (R) :