“Can you believe Republican Congressmen are in Moscow meeting with the men who coordinated Russia’s pro-Republican attack on America… …on INDEPENDENCE DAY?” ~ Seth Abramson
Russian Congressmen met with Russian officials on Wednesday as Trump prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month in Helsinki.
Republican members of Congress sounded a newly conciliatory tone in meetings with Russian lawmakers and officials here on Tuesday in a rare visit to Moscow and a preview of the looming summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) told Russia’s foreign minister that while Russia and the United States were competitors, “we don’t necessarily need to be adversaries.” Later on at the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, members attending a plenary session greeted the Americans with applause.
“I’m not here today to accuse Russia of this or that or so forth,” Shelby told Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin. “I’m saying that we should all strive for a better relationship.”
The Republicans’ meetings in Moscow… helped set the tone for the July 16 Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki. Their Russian hosts said they hoped the Americans’ newfound willingness to meet marked a turning point after years of almost no direct contact between lawmakers in Washington and Moscow.
As one might expect, Twitter was quick to respond to the meeting.
Former criminal investigator and attorney Seth Abramson was quick to weigh in, tweeting: “Can you believe Republican Congressmen are in Moscow meeting with the men who coordinated Russia’s pro-Republican attack on America… …on INDEPENDENCE DAY?”
Can you believe Republican Congressmen are in Moscow meeting with the men who coordinated Russia's pro-Republican attack on America…
…on INDEPENDENCE DAY?
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) July 4, 2018
New York freelance journalist Olga Lautman weighed in with a Twitter thread discussing the fact that the Republicans were silent about the meetings while the Russian press was taking advantage of the propaganda gift handed them by American conservative lawmakers.
“@SteveDaines @SenShelby @RepKayGranger @SenJohnKennedy @JerryMoran @SenJohnHoeven @SenJohnThune in Moscow spending July 4th after secret meets and a visit to a live session in State Duma. What they all have in common is zero mention on their Twitter accounts of their visit!” she began, adding: “The only mention of their visit is the propaganda coming out of the Russians. And trust me they are using their visit as the biggest propaganda.”
The only mention of their visit is the propaganda coming out of the Russians. And trust me they are using their visit as the biggest propaganda
— Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211) July 4, 2018
Continuing she tweeted: “A few of them did tweet but absolutely no mention of where they are or what they are up to. And if their staff members posted the tweets on their accounts then why no mention prior to visit? How could they meet w Nikonov a former aide to Putin who bragged last year that American spies slept while the Russians helped elect Trump and whose grandfather worked for Stalin.”
Turning to the widely confirmed Steele Dossier, she tweeted: “These Republicans also met w Konstantin Kosachev who is under sanctions and more importantly was mentioned in the Steele Dossier of meeting with Michael Cohen during summer 2016 to discuss Russia’s help in election interference. Both have denied the charges.”
Lautman posted a separate thread regarding the meetings and discussing what the might foretell about future Russia policy from Republicans and and Trump administration.
She began by questioning the motive behind all the meetings between high ranking Republicans and Russians, tweeting: “And I honestly have no clue why all these meets by everyone from Pompeo, Mnuchin, Bolton, Shelby and Co, and Trumps one on one. This is extremely bold especially given all the evidence that Russia attacked us and continues to attack us and our Allies.”
Continuing, she offered the following preview of coming attractions: “Apparently this looks like the next demand. Russian ambassador Antonov is complaining about the 60 diplomats that were kicked out. Something to watch out for.”
Apparently this looks like the next demand. Russian ambassador Antonov is complaining about the 60 diplomats that were kicked out. Something to watch out for. pic.twitter.com/9csoOhdJkp
— Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211) July 4, 2018
Former special assistant to President Barack Obama, Jesse Lee, weighed in as well, tweeting that: “Trump’s own intelligence chiefs say Russia is continuing to interfere in our democracy and is planning to interfere in the 2018 midterms. This is how Republicans in Congress are spending July 4th. Basically a CODEL version of the Trump Tower meeting, this time at their place.”
Trump’s own intelligence chiefs say Russia is continuing to interfere in our democracy and is planning to interfere in the 2018 midterms. This is how Republicans in Congress are spending July 4th. Basically a CODEL version of the Trump Tower meeting, this time at their place. https://t.co/EUkiv5XroW
— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) July 5, 2018
A few other noteworthy tweets included:
- So, we have a bunch of Republicans (no Democrats allowed) and Trump meeting with Russians in Russia with no US press allowed…on Independence Day. Yeah, nothing creepy about that.
- Among the Russians meeting with the Republicans on Tuesday was Sergey Kislyak — the former Russian ambassador to Washington whose communications with Michael Flynn led to Flynn’s downfall.
- Can anyone tell me how Representatives meeting in Russia and Trump meeting Putin is okay? After a report came out confirming they were involved in the 2016 election? Hello……where are the REAL Republicans? Really…..where are you?
- 1) Senate Republicans say Putin/Russia *definitely* tried to help Trump win the Presidency. 2) A day later, they’re in Russia cosying up to Russian politicians. 3) Trump will be meeting Putin in private. Looks like we need a whole new Independence Day.
- The republicans seem to be feeling very confident for some reason. That worries me. They’re not even hiding their collusion with Russia anymore. Note the 7 members of Congress openly meeting with RU officials today. They are planning something to throw the mid-terms.
- Why are @GOP Republican senators meeting with Russia…..behind closed doors….using our tax dollars….on Independence Day? Why are you going to meet behind closed doors with Putin….without anyone else in the room? Republicans apparently love Russia….a lot.