Sen. Cory Gardner, Colorado Republican, said Thursday that he believes Russia is worthy of being designated a state sponsor of terrorism.
The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Mr. Gardner made the remark during an interview on Fox News conducted ahead of Monday’s scheduled one-on-one meeting between President Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
“I think that Russia, quite frankly, ought to be named a state sponsor of terror for their activities,” Mr. Gardner said.
The senator suggested the label in response to Russia’s “continued violations of international law,” including specifically the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England, as well attacks waged against Syrian civilians, Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
“I think the president needs to be very firm,” he said of Mr. Trump’s upcoming meeting on Monday. “That we’re not going to take lightly interference in any elections; that we’re not going to take likely their incursions into Crimea, violations of international law.”
“Look, we can be competitors,” Mr. Gardner added. “But we also aren’t going to be turning a blind eye — turning away — from illegal activities.”
Only four countries are currently designated by the U.S. State Department as state sponsors of terrorism: North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Syria.
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