Guthrie 'Convinced' of Russian Meddling in Presidential Election

May 31, 2017

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie speaks with a member of the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club.
Credit Lisa Autry, WKYU

  A Kentucky congressman says he’s convinced that Russia tried to interfere in this country’s presidential election. 

However, Representative Brett Guthrie says there is no evidence that President Donald Trump was involved.

"There's no evidence at all of any collusion between what Russia did, or attempted to do, and the Trump administration," stated Guthrie.  "That's what the special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into, but my point is let's not create facts before they exist."

In a speech to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club Wednesday, Congressman Guthrie said he thinks Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails which proved embarrassing for Hillary Clinton's campaign. 

The Republican lawmaker said there’s currently nothing to suggest that Russia affected the outcome of the election, but added the fact that there was any inference is concerning.

Guthrie's Washington update also centered on House Republicans' replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Congressman Guthrie said he doesn't expect his chamber's health care plan to pass the U.S. Senate. He declined to speculate on what might be included in the Senate's own health care plan.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget office said last week that the House plan will result in 23 million fewer people having health insurance than if Obamacare were left in place.

Following his Rotary speech, Guthrie said he supports a possible move to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Obama administration entered into the deal last year in an effort to help slow climate change by requiring the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.  Representative Guthrie told WKU Public Radio that he doesn’t like how the U.S. is forced to bear the biggest brunt of the agreement.

"Now we're shutting down coal plants in Hancock County for a level of mercury you can't even measure in the air," Guthrie remarked.  "We have to re-look at the way environmental laws are moving forward, and I don't think it was a good agreement."

President Trump has signaled the U.S. will drop out of the Paris Climate Accord, and has called into question the science of climate change.  President Obama signed the deal into law by executive action last fall, bypassing the Republican-controlled Senate. 

Congressman Guthrie says if the president wants to negotiate an international agreement, it should be a treaty that would require ratification by the Senate.