Politics

GOP Rep. Hurd says Trump is Being Manipulated by Putin

Texas congressman served in the CIA before getting into politics

 Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said President Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Will Hurd wrote in a New York Times op-ed that that President Donald Trump is participating in a disinformation campaign by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Texas Republican served as an undercover CIA officer before winning his first House race in 2014.

Hurd’s opinion piece comes after Trump’s meeting and news conference with the Russian president in Helsinki where he questioned the authority of his intelligence agencies and took Putin’s word that Russians didn’t meddle in U.S. elections.

“By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands, the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad,” Hurd wrote.

Hurd cited Russia’s efforts to hack into political organizations like the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and hack state election boards.

Hurd said Russian “disinformation campaigns” on social media are also “well-documented.”

“The result has been Russian disinformation spreading like a virus throughout the Western world,” he said. 

Hurd cited Congress passing sanctions on Russia and its providing assistance to Ukraine to stop disinformation campaigns.

He also praised the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify about Trump’s meetings with Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Additionally, Congress must act to give the men and women of our intelligence agencies the tools they need to confront Moscow and prevent this from happening in the future,” Hurd wrote. 

Hurd represents Texas’ 23rd district, which stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border, and is being challenged by Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Toss Up.

Watch: Trump on Whether Russia is Still Targeting the U.S.: ‘No’

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