News & Politics

Democrat Senator Mark Warner: Trump Deserves Credit for Punching Back at Russia

Democratic Senator Mark Warner (VA) says President Trump deserves credit for punching back at Russia. Source: PBS / Twitter.

While his fellow Democrats all but accuse (or even go so far as to accuse) President Donald Trump of treasonous collusion with Russia, Democratic Senator Mark Warner (Va.) has a completely different view. In an interview on PBS’s Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Warner said that the president actually deserves credit for allowing the United States to “punch back” at Russia and to use its “offensive capabilities” against Moscow’s cyber attacks.

That’s interesting enough, of course, but Sen. Warner added that Trump has made it “a lot easier to take action against Russia than former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama,” the Daily Wire reports.

“To give the Trump administration some credit here, [they allowed] for us to punch back in the cyber domain, which, both under Obama and Bush, we were reluctant to do,” Sen. Warner told Hoover. She then asked him whether the United States “took an offensive posture in cyber and actually was able to shut down Russian troll farms” in 2018.

“I’m not going to comment on the specifics,” the senator from Virginia responded. “I can’t comment on things that fall into the intelligence realm, in terms of specific actions. What I can comment on is that President Trump made it easier for the United States government to use some of our offensive capabilities.”

“For decades in our country, we were afraid of going on offense on cyber because we were always afraid of cyber escalation,” Sen. Warner added. “You shut down Moscow for 24 hours, you had a problem. You shut down New York for 24 hours, you have a financial crisis that could permeate for months. Consequently, I feel like, for many years, particularly our near-peer adversaries, like Russia and China — they were able to attack America in the cyber domain with very little fear of us punching back.”

Under President Trump’s leadership, however, that has changed. “I think we’ve taken off some of those restraints. I think that is good, long term. We need to realize these challenges, particularly in the cyber domain, will be where the first shots of 21st-century conflict will take place,” Sen. Warner concluded.

Are Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff watching and reading along?