Alaska senators blast Trump for going soft on Putin

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)
Both of Alaska’s Republican U.S. senators take issue with President Trump’s remarks in Helsinki Monday.

Trump, standing beside Russian President Vladimir Putin, wouldn’t say whether he believes the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in a written statement, said she was “stunned” Trump didn’t take the opportunity at the press conference to confront Putin. She called it a “sad diminishment of our great nation.”

In his own written statement, Sen. Dan Sullivan said he disagrees with President Trump.

Sullivan, though, said it’s up to Russia to improve the relationship.

“Don’t invade your neighbors, and move out of the countries that you’ve invaded,” Sullivan said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Don’t align yourself with the world’s biggest sponsor of state terrorism like Iran. Don’t back regimes like Bashar Al-Assad and certainly don’t meddle in democracies like the United States and our allies.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada extends air defence monitoring zone to entire Canadian Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland steps up border checks for Trump-Putin summit, Yle News

Norway: Norway scrambles F-16 as Russian aircraft train over Kola Peninsula and Barents Sea, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia upgrades Northern Fleet airbase, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden issues first brochure on war and crisis preparedness since Cold War, Radio Sweden

United States: Will Alaskan Senator Murkowski block Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee?, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

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