Schumer slams GOP for ‘twiddling thumbs’ on election security to avoid angering Trump
By Michael Mcauliff and Dave Goldiner
Jun 18, 2019 at 12:54 PM
Sen. Chuck Schumer says Republicans are "twiddling their thumbs" on election security for fear of angering President Trump.
The Democratic Senate leader accused the GOP of putting partisan politics — and plain old spinelessness — ahead of patriotism by spiking efforts to protect the ballot box against threats from Russia and beyond.
“[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell just stands there and twiddles [his] thumbs and says almost, ‘Come on Putin, let it happen,’ ” Schumer said.
He suggested that Republicans are not serious about battling election interference because Russia helped Trump win in 2016.
"I hope it's not because he thinks Russian interference will benefit President Trump or his party," Schumer said. "I hope and pray that's not the case."
Democrats plan to launch an aggressive new push to force Republicans to agree to stricter election security measures, including demanding stand-alone votes on bills. If that doesn’t work, they will add amendments to must-pass defense and spending bills.
Republicans have sent mixed messages on election security. They claim they back tough measures, but regularly object to passing new laws that they see as aimed at embarrassing Trump.
Despite warnings from law enforcement, McConnell (R-Kentucky) has downplayed the need for new laws or spending after relatively smooth midterm elections.
Schumer said Republicans are simply afraid of crossing Trump, who has shown his willingness to lash out against members of his own party who oppose him.