July 16, 2018: Ted Yoho released the following statement in response to the recent meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin:
“It’s easy to comment and criticize on a press conference without knowing what was said in the closed-door hearing. To critique the meeting between President Trump and Putin without facts is irresponsible as things were said that both leaders at this point are not willing to divulge. Could things have been said differently, better, stronger and more direct? ABSOLUTELY. There was a missed opportunity to tell not just Russia but any country or entity that tampering with our elections will result in tough consequences in order to protect and preserve our Republic. I don’t agree with President Trump’s comments that Putin didn’t interfere as the evidence is clear. However, I don’t believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. I also believe the DNC and the Clinton e-mails need to be investigated as vigorously as President Trump has been because at the end of the day, we are a nation of laws and we must uphold them.
“That said, we know that Russia meddled in our elections and should be held accountable for their interference. It is debatable and I am doubtful whether or not meddling influenced the outcome of the election but regardless, there must be consequences for these actions against our sovereignty. Russia specifically needs to be held accountable for their destructive actions across the globe that include but are not limited to invading Crimea, propping up Assad while helping him commit war crimes against his own people, and poisoning expatriates on foreign soil.
“With regard to our intelligence agencies, I am of the position that we have the best and most dedicated agents that serve this nation. Like with any organization, a few bad apples have presented themselves and it is our job as elected leaders collectively to restore the American people’s trust in these critical agencies and their mission. I am hopeful that the Mueller probe leads to concrete convictions against foreign actors trying to harm our Republic and will be included with the existing sanctions. These sanctions are the toughest we have seen since Reagan and will produce results.
“For those who are outraged at President Trump and claim he was either too hard or too soft were you as critical of President Obama’s world tour apologizing for America’s past aggressions? It’s time to check our political affiliation cards at the door and remember that one meeting doesn’t define a Presidency.”