Stephanie Murphy: Russian interference in U.S. elections 'direct assault on our democracy' - Florida Politics

Stephanie Murphy: Russian interference in U.S. elections ‘direct assault on our democracy’

Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy renewed her call Friday for independent, non-partisan investigations into Russia’s involvement in last fall’s elections, calling the Russian activities “a direct assault on our democracy.”

Speaking at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in her hometown, the freshman congresswoman pressed her background, interests and house committee assignments in national security to express her concerns about Russia’s role, and her questions about President Donald Trump‘s firing Tuesday of FBI Director James Comey, who was investigating it.

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“I’m alarmed by the consensus view among our intelligence community that the Russian government interfered in our democracy. And here’s what we know: that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an influence campaign, in an attempt to sway our presidential election,” she said. “But what we don’t know is who, necessary, was involved, and whether Americans were actively participating or had knowledge of the Russian activities.

“So make no mistake about it, Russian attempts to sway our election constitutes a direct assault on our democracy, and they can’t go on,” she said. “And we have to take action to prevent this type of interference again.”

Murphy delivered a broad-based speech in which she also talked about the need to fix, not replace the current health care system, making sure to provide access and also to find ways to bring down costs to small businesses and individuals. The comments harkened to concerns she heard raised earlier this week in a Sanford Chamber of Commerce meeting, but also reflect some of her policy statements that have called for finding ways to reduce costs.

She also raised her concerns about North Korea, and noted that the CIA just announced creation of a broad intelligence review committee that mirrors what she pushed for in a bill she introduced last month. Yet she criticized the Trump White House’s “lack of tiered strategy” for North Korea and other foreign affairs matters.

Those comments and many others were drawn from a theme Murphy raised about she said she’s hearing from constituents, about growing uncertainty.

“The overarching theme delivered to me by nearly every constituent in my district is uncertainty. They recognize that progress in Central Florida and the nation has seen over the last few years… But I think with Congress in disarray, the war in the Middle East still ongoing, growing threats in North Korea, health care facing dramatic changes, that people are feeling uncertainty and concern,” she said.

“Uncertainty isn’t good for families and seniors, and it definitely isn’t good for businesses and the stock market, and it’s definitely not good for our allies like Israel, who depend on a strong and stable America,” she said.

But she offered optimism based on the American people, saying “our brave service members, diplomats and intelligence officers will always do what it takes to keep us safe…. I also think the hard-working spirit of the American people will overcome any obstacle. We are a nation that is already great, and it’s because of the internal fortitude and American values.”

But she also pressed on about the “crisis in our government” she centered on Trump, the allegations about Russia, and Comey’s firing.

“The timing of this termination is unusually suspect, and I think we need to know. We need to follow the facts where they lead, and we can hold those who broke the law, accountable, and protect the sanctity of our elections and get back to governing,” she said.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for upholding your Congressional duties in a non partisan manner. The fear is the investigation into this matter will be obstructed at every turn by the parties involved. We the people shouldn’t and can’t wait a year or so while a lengthy investigation is drawn out and the expense being the damage done to our democracy . I know that a fair process has to be followed ,it must be fast tracked to keep our country from dissolving into the chaos seen in third world countries. Thank you for all that you are doing in this matter.

  2. Non partisan, my foot, Amy Campbell! Why don’t you thank George Soros and Nancy Pelosi (whose $4 million elected her) for being “non partisan!?” Hillary will go down in history as the first person to lose a presidential election because the press got wind of the TRUTH about her campaign officials’ actual statements, while Stephanie Murphy claims there should be “no contact” with any government deemed hostile. Would to God that Barack Obama had employed that rule before pursuing the disastrous deal that accelerated and expanded Iran’s nuclear capability! The investigation that should occur with dispatch is the role Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and every other Obama staffer had in illegally unmasking names of Americans who were under surveillance. Then there should be LONG prison terms for them. Stephanie Murphy contributes to chaos with foolish remarks like this. (Proverbs 17:15.) Tucker Carlson pointed that out on May 16th, naming her specifically. There’s less to investigate of Trump than there was of Bill Clinton’s co-opting of Loretta Lynch, resulting in her abdication of her responsibility to “whatever Comey” decided about prosecuting Hillary. THAT’S the as yet “uninvestigated” issue here. Get a life!

  3. I’M A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT. I’M PRESENTLY ASHAMED TO SAY THAT.
    LET IT GO!!!! THERE ARE REAL ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED.
    TRUMP IS THE PRESIDENT . ACCEPT IT. DON’T BE SWALLOWED UP BY THE DEMOCRATIC POTTY MOUTH CAMPAIGN. IT SHOULD BE BENEATH YOU AND YOUR STANDARDS. REPRESENT THE PEOPLE. NOT THE PARTY.
    I WON’T EVEN WATCH CNN , ETC.. THIS IS PRE-KINDERGARTEN ANTICS…..
    IT’S RUINING THE COUNTRY IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED. THINK TWICE. YOUR ELECTION WILL BE DIFFERENT IF YOU KEEP GOING THIS WAY……

  4. I would not be as concerned about the Russians as I would about organizations self-identified as the “Resistance” to our duly elected government. Mr. Comey has clearly overreached his authority as the director of the FBI, and needed to end his service.

    Thank you for your service.

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