Iowa’s Joni Ernst has joined with seven other Republican senators in urging President Trump to “pursue a principles and tough-minded Russia policy.”
Ernst and the other senators cited Russia’s “aggressive behavior” in Ukraine and Syria as well as Russia’s “warfare” in “cyberspace.” The group said “Russia’s cooperation is desirable” on issues like nuclear arms control and attacking terrorism.
But Ernst and the seven other Republicans warned Trump against pursuing cooperation with Russia “at the expense of our fundamental interests of defending our allies and promoting our values.”
Ernst has often said visiting the Ukraine as a college student and seeing the Soviet system up close prompted her to join the military. In the letter to Trump, Ernst and the other senators asked him to “condemn” Russian aggression in Ukraine and “take…steps” to stop it. The group of senators also urged Trump to maintain current U.S. sanctions against Russia.
The statement from Ernst and the seven other GOP senators comes a few days after Trump’s Super Bowl interview on Fox News. The network’s Bill O’Reilly labeled Vladimir Putin “a killer” and Trump replied that there are “a lot of killers” — then Trump asked: “You think our country’s so innocent?”