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Letters to the Editor: Trump wanted help from Russia. Republicans, what will you do about that?

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin
President Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

To the editor: Now that the Senate Intelligence Committee has released its report confirming Russia’s interference in our 2016 election, what do the Republican members of the committee plan to do?

I’m talking about the acting chairman, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.). I’m talking about Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Richard Burr (N.C.), James Risch (Idaho), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), John Cornyn (Texas) and Ben Sasse (Neb.).

Will they publicly correct the president when he continues to yell, “hoax, lies, fake news”? Will they squirm on their soft cushions, fearful of his attacks, his bullying, denigrations and putdowns? Or will they stand up for truth, to keep this from happening again and to protect our 2020 election from interference?

What words will they sputter to their children and grandchildren when, years from now, the kids ask, “How did you let this happen?”

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Roz Levine, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I was not surprised by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings. The question that no one seems to ask is this: Why does Russian President Vladimir Putin put so much effort into getting Trump elected?

I think the answer lies in the fact that Trump is easily manipulated. Rex Tillerson, Trump’s former secretary of State, reportedly called Trump a “moron.” In his new book, former national security advisor John Bolton depicts Trump as an incompetent.

In his dealings with the leaders of China, North Korea and Russia, Trump has raved about the great progress he’s made. In reality, North Korea has not curbed its nuclear program, China has not come to any significant trade deal with the U.S. and Russia has not retreated from its aggression.

Authoritarians have played Trump like a yo-yo. I think we can see why Putin supports our president.

Robert Friedman, Palm Desert

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To the editor: The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report provides very strong evidence that Trump lied in writing to former Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, a crime that probably would have sent anyone else to prison.

The idea that Trump simply did not recall talking to his political advisor Roger Stone about WikiLeaks doesn’t even meet the standard of plausible deniability. Trump commuted Stone’s prison sentence to cover up for his campaign’s conduct in the 2016 election, which with his lies show his effort to obstruct justice.

Your article notes that Mueller’s report failed to establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia; however, it should always be noted that the Mueller report also said that efforts to obstruct the investigation interfered with its ability to reach a conclusion. Trump and his operatives were not exonerated.

The additional evidence that former Trump campaigns chairman Paul Manafort was in close and secret contact with Russian military intelligence is a red flag if ever there was one.

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Trump welcomed Putin’s interference in our democracy. He needs to be held accountable and removed from office.

David Bendall, Aliso Viejo


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