Senate Blocks Flake Resolution Seeking Answers On Trump-Putin Summit

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said President Donald Trump “gave aid and comfort to an enemy of democracy” by refusing to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin over charges of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. (Photo by Sarabeth Henne/Cronkite News)

By Dani Coble

WASHINGTON – Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake vowed to try again after the Senate blocked a vote Thursday on his resolution supporting U.S. intelligence agencies and rejecting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 elections.

The bipartisan resolution also called for sanctions on Russia and a congressional investigation into what transpired at the Helsinki summit meeting between Putin and President Donald Trump, who Flake said “let down the free world” by not confronting Putin.

“By choosing to reject objective reality in Helsinki, the president let down the free world by giving aid and comfort to an enemy of democracy,” Flake said on the Senate floor Thursday. “In so doing, he dimmed the light of freedom ever so slightly in our own country.”

But Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, blocked a vote on the resolution, saying more is needed than the symbolic action it represented.

Cornyn said it is “absolutely clear” that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and “I’m confident they will continue until we stop them from doing so.” But he said he believed the resolution would do more harm to U.S relations with other countries, and that the Senate would be better served to consider new sanctions beyond those authorized in a 2017 law, which the resolution said should be imposed immediately.

The move by Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, appeared to come as a surprise to Flake and his co-sponsor, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware. It came the same day that the Senate unanimously passed another resolution rejecting Russia’s request to interview U.S. officials in connection with the elections, a suggestion by Putin that also came out of Monday’s summit.

“I think it’s regrettable that this was objected to. We will bring it back,” Flake said on the Senate floor, adding later that he would try again when the Senate meets Tuesday.

The resolution is the latest fallout from Monday’s summit, where Trump downplayed the possibility that Russia meddled in U.S. elections, saying he believed Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful denial” of his country’s involvement. Trump called the U.S investigation into possible Russian meddling “foolish” and said that both countries “have made mistakes.”


-Cronkite News video by Dani Coble

Trump’s comments came just days after the Justice Department announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents in connection with hacking that was “intended to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

Condemnation of the president was swift, and came from both sides of the aisle, with Flake calling Trump’s statements “shameful” and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, calling it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

Trump quickly backpedaled, saying Tuesday that he misspoke when asked during the summit about Russian election interference.

“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said, adding Wednesday that there’s “never been a president as tough on Russia as I have been.”

The Flake-Coons resolution was meant to show support for U.S. intelligence agencies, commending their work and the work of the Justice Department in the probe and agreeing with their finding that Russia interfered in the election.

Besides demanding that Russia be held accountable, the resolution also called for congressional hearings into the actual summit meeting, including “the release of relevant notes and information , to better understand the impact of the recent summit … on the foreign policy and national security of the United States.”

After Cornyn said that more than a symbolic action was needed, an angry Flake said that “symbolism is important.”

“This simply says, in a symbolic way, that we in the Senate don’t buy Vladimir Putin’s … denial of election interference,” Flake said of the resolution.

“We saw earlier this week in Helsinki what was truly an Orwellian moment,” Flake said. He called it the result of two years of the administration “calling real things fake and fake things real, as if conditioning others to embrace the same confusion.

“Ultimately, you’re rendering yourself unable to tell the difference between the two,” he said.

10 Comments on "Senate Blocks Flake Resolution Seeking Answers On Trump-Putin Summit"

  1. Jeff. Just STFU and come home and quit making a bigger fool of yourself. Oh, wait, I am sorry you have marching orders from little Johnnie who still has his hand up your a## and is making your lips move. You are a disgrace to the voters of this great state. You and your puppet master both have very short political lifespans. Good bye Jeffie, you ass.

  2. What will Flake do for an income after he leaves Washington? Back to Goldwater Institute?
    Start his own law firm : “We be Flakes and Howe”? How about his own auto dealership : “Lemons, junkers, and Flakes”? No, he will start his own “non profit” and pay himself $350,000 a year to collect donations for “them people over there in the islands”!

  3. The Oracle of Tucson | July 20, 2018 at 9:40 pm |

    Hey Jeffy, I don’t want to be judgemental before all of the facts are in, but your fricking nuts.
    Your epic failure moment took place when you realized you would never be re-elected and bowed out of the race, this whole roadside circus implosion thing, it’s just pushing the envelope of public stupidity, as if it could get worse?
    It’s high time you took up acting and played your real role, as a deaf mute.

    The Oracle

  4. is there a way to recall him? He won’t shut up or quit, can he be fired by the voters of the state in recall?

  5. Good old Crazy Senator Flake. If you question my calling him crazy, read his book Conscience of a Conservative, a book in which he blames all the political failures of Senator Flake and his fellow Republican leaders on President Trump, someone who never held a leadership position in the Party prior to his election! Senator Flake also blames President Trump and all those who voted for him for the conservative movement`s losing its way, and much worse. We all agree the President was wrong to question our government agency`s conclusion that Russia`s Putin tried to interfere in our elections in 2016. However, President Trump admitted his mistake the very next day. On the other hand, when President Obama was caught on tape asking the President of Russia to assure Putin that he, Obama, would have much more “flexibility” in his relations with Putin AFTER he was re-elected, Senator Flake raised not a peep and President Obama never took responsibility for his words. Clearly, President Obama was indicating he could “collude” more freely with Mr. Putin once he was free of the possibility of further accountability to America`s voters. IF there is a more glaring example of an American president promising to “collude” with a Russian President than President Obama`s promise of “flexibility,” I would like to see it.

  6. Jaja really Jeff did you think your party wants the truth to be known to the public.

    I have said it before and will gladly once more. If Trump’s lips are moving you know he is lieing.

    That Party before You try. Yahoooo.

    Que no?

    Richard Hernandez

  7. Marana Dave | July 21, 2018 at 1:23 pm |

    Let’s just be sure we never vote for him on any ballot where his name may appear in the future.

  8. Felina Erse | July 21, 2018 at 2:04 pm |

    Flake let down Arizona voters many times resulting in his loss of support in AZ. Yet, Flake has the audacity make the following RINO statement on the Senate floor this past Thursday “By choosing to reject objective reality in Helsinki, the president let down the free world by giving aid and comfort to an enemy of democracy,”

  9. Losing!!!!

  10. JEFF SNOWFLAKE THE MOST HATED SENATOR IN THE CONTINENTAL US.
    SNOWFLAKE ALREADY HAS A JOB OFFER WITH MSNBC.

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