UPDATED 9:26 AM PT — Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Senator Mitch McConnell is firing back at accusations from liberal lawmakers over his record of holding Russia accountable. While speaking on the floor of the upper chamber this week, the majority leader slammed a Washington Post op-ed which called him a “Russian asset.” In response to this, McConnell said he will not be intimidated over what he denounced as “baseless smears.”
“Over the last several days I was called unpatriotic, un-American and essentially treasonous by a couple of left-wing pundits on the basis of boldfaced lies,” he stated. “I was accused of aiding and abetting the very man I’ve singled out as an adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years: Vladimir Putin.”
Democrat members of Congress and liberal news outlets began running with “Moscow Mitch” in recent days over his decision to block election security bills. If passed, they would have allocated $775 million to go toward improving the current systems in place to safeguard U.S. elections and mandate paper ballots.
In a rebuke of the criticism, McConnell praised his record of holding Russia accountable when necessary and says it speaks for itself. He became visibly and unusually heated while speaking to his defense, and reminded lawmakers about Russia’s attempts to create division among Congress.
“Now here we are in 2019, again, Putin and the Russians seek to provoke fear and division in our country, to undermine faith in our institutions, to exacerbate our political differences until we tear ourselves apart,” stated the Kentucky lawmaker. “And, once again, it seems there are some who blindly take the bait.”
McConnell went on to denounce the attacks against him as “modern day McCarthyism.” However, he maintains Republicans are making “great strides” to protect democracy and the vote.
Meanwhile, President Trump defended the Senate majority leader before departing for Jamestown, Virginia on Tuesday. One America News reporter Emerald Robinson asked about the article outside the White House.
I asked @realDonaldTrump about the @washingtonpost piece calling @senatemajldr a "Russian asset". @POTUS– "I think the Washington Post is a Russia asset by comparison. Mitch McConnell loves our country. He's done a great job." @OANN pic.twitter.com/wTM8VvExs6
— Emerald Robinson ✝️ (@EmeraldRobinson) July 30, 2019
President Trump also called the mainstream media outlet “fake news,” and said it is a “paper just for the benefit of Amazon.” He called on the outlet to apologize for the op-ed, and said they should be “ashamed of themselves.”