Nebraska lawmakers react to Russian meddling charges; ‘It is vital we defend our election process,’ Adrian Smith says

February 19, 2018 GMT

Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, were charged Friday in an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda, aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump and harming the prospects of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The federal indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House. It also marks the first criminal charges against Russians believed to have secretly worked to influence the outcome. Read more.

Nebraska lawmakers react

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb.: “Mueller just put Moscow on notice. This ought to be a wakeup call to Washington: Putin’s shadow war is aimed at undermining Americans’ trust in our institutions. We know Russia is coming back in 2018 and 2020 – we have to take this threat seriously.”

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.: “The investigation of Russia’s role in our 2016 election is ongoing. It’s encouraging to see that the Russians responsible for attempting to meddle in our election are being held to account. Protecting our democratic process is important.”

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.: “The actions of 13 Russians meddling in American elections is unacceptable. The attempt to sow discord among Americans will not be tolerated and the Russians’ meddlesome actions and ways must stop now.”

Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb.: “It is vital we defend our election process. Today’s announced indictments make it clear the U.S. will not stand for attacks on our democracy.”

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb.: “Mueller is confirming what we all suspected about Russian meddling in our elections. This is the latest chapter in the use of cyber weaponry to destabilize democracies. If the Russians are interested in sowing division, it looks like they’re succeeding.”

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa: “As I have said time and time again, Russia is not our friend. It is important that we let the Special Counsel and bipartisan congressional investigations continue in earnest and follow the facts where they lead.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report