Posts tagged with "Moscow Mitch"

Schumer predicts ‘Moscow Mitch’ will capitulate on election security

August 5, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) rarely budges in the face of political pressure. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) thinks election security could be the exception, according to a report by Politico.

Calling the political plays on August 1, Schumer anticipated that—under the pressure of the “Moscow Mitch” campaign (a moniker that McConnell is said to dislike intensely)—the GOP leader soon would buckle and take up federal election security, a once-bipartisan issue.

“I predict that the pressure will continue to mount on Republican senators, especially Leader McConnell, and they will be forced to join us and take meaningful action on election security this fall,” Schumer said. “My prediction is our relentless push is going to produce results.”

McConnell is being bashed by pundits, Democrats, and even former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and current presidential candidate Julián Castro as “Moscow Mitch.”

In response, Politico said, this week, McConnell mounted a forceful defense on the Senate floor of his decision not to move forward on federal election security bills. He called suggestions that he’s “un-American” or a tool of Vladimir Putin a “smear” and an example of “modern-day McCarthyism.”

“I worked to ensure Congress sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the states to improve their defenses, and applauded the whole-of-government efforts that the administration continues,” McConnell said on July 29. “Some of my colleagues quickly pivoted right back into hysterical accusations that only fan the flames of this modern-day McCarthyism. These pundits are lying when they dismiss the work that has been done.”

But Democrats remain unconvinced that enough is being done to protect the election system from attacks by the Russians, as well as other incursions.

Senator Schumer even  suggested that—because he has not “heard one good reason from Republicans why they shouldn’t do it”—there could be something more nefarious afoot, Politico reported.

“Is it, I hope not, that they think if Russia interferes it will be benefit them? Is it, I hope not, that they’re afraid of President Trump who has this childish and puerile view that if he admits there is Russian interference it makes his election illegitimate?” Schumer asked on Thursday.

Research contact: @politico

Moscow Mitch denies he is aiding Kremlin

August 1, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is angered by his new nickname, Moscow Mitch. On July 29, he strode to the Senate floor to defend his decision to block an election security bill and lashed out at critics who suggested he was helping Russia—complaining that they had engaged in “modern-day McCarthyism” to “smear” his record.

“The[y] … [don’t] let a little thing like reality get in their way,” said McConnell in a nearly 30-minute speech , according to a report by The Washington Post.

The Republican ringleader—who has blocked every bill passed by the Democratic House during this session—saw fit to say, “They [perceived] the perfect opportunity to distort and tell lies and fuel the flames of partisan hatred, and so they did.”

McConnell was responding primarily to an opinion column by The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, published July 26 under the headline, “Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.”

The majority leader used what is usually a speech on the Senate’s upcoming workweek to issue an angry denunciation of the column and some liberal commentators on MSNBC—accusing Senate Democrats of helping fan the liberal flames, the news outlet reported.

Last week, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about whether President Trump had tried to obstruct the inquiry. Casting Russian sabotage as a serious threat to the United States, Mueller warned that interference efforts were happening “as we sit” in the hearing rooms.

Hours after Mueller’s testimony, Democrats tried to get the Senate to vote on bipartisan election security legislation. Republicans objected. The next day, Democrats tried to get a vote on a bill that would have authorized hundreds of millions of dollars to update voting equipment. McConnell objected, The Washington Post noted.

Fred Hiatt, The Post’s editorial page editor, defended Milbank’s column and criticized the GOP leader for invoking McCarthyism.  “Dana Milbank’s column was a legitimate exercise in commentary, making the argument that Senator McConnell’s blocking of elections-security legislation will harm the United States and work to Russia’s advantage. Of course it’s equally legitimate for Mr. McConnell to express a contrary view, but the Milbank argument has nothing to do with McCarthyism,” Hiatt said in a statement.

Research contact: @washingtonpost