Washington, D.C. – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the intelligence community’s declassified report confirming a Russian plot to intervene in the 2016 election:

“This intelligence report lays out carefully, in stark detail, how President Putin directed his military intelligence, hackers, and propagandists to intervene in the election to help Donald Trump. Putin did this as part of an unprecedentedly bold campaign to discredit American values, weaken our support for our allies, dismantle the liberal world order, and, by all appearances, attempt to render the world safe for autocracy. The report also warns that Putin will keep trying to intervene in our elections and those of our allies. We must push back persistently and effectively to make clear, going forward, that there will be further consequences if this belligerent behavior continues.

“It is highly irresponsible to dismiss these findings and call for a closer relationship with Russia in the same breath. Doing so suggests a disregard for the very real threat they pose to ourselves and the future of democracy worldwide.

“What’s more, in light of this information, nominating a national security adviser who has been paid to appear on Russia’s state-supported propaganda network, as well as a secretary of state who has received the Russian Order of Friendship and wants to lift sanctions on Russia, looks like a reward to Putin for his efforts. That is precisely the wrong message for us to be sending.”