U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of American leaders renewing their condemnation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Walden’s comment came after President Donald Trump on Monday said he accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of interceding in the U.S. election. According to the New York Times, Trump said at a news conference, “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Trump’s comments contradict findings by U.S. intelligence agencies and follows the indictment last week of 12 Russian agents related to efforts to manipulate the election.
Walden, a strong supporter of the president, stepped away from Trump’s statement.
“Russia’s interference in our elections and repeated attempts to subvert democracy in America must be condemned by our country’s leaders,” Walden said in a statement. “As I have said repeatedly, I fully support the findings of the hardworking Americans in our intelligence community that Russia deliberately attacked our democratic process and continues its hostile efforts against our country and our allies.”
Walden continued: “We cannot allow any country to undermine our right to free and fair elections, and I will continue to support efforts to combat Russian aggression against the very bedrock of our principles and values as Americans.”