Democratic Lawmakers Call Russian Election Interference An Act Of War, But Don’t Want To Respond In Kind

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Several Democratic lawmakers have called Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election an act of war, yet they are either hesitant to explain how they wish to respond or want to just impose sanctions.

After American intelligence concluded that Russia waged a campaign to influence the election, President Obama imposed sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies and expelled dozens of their diplomats from the U.S. However, this was not enough for some House and Senate Democrats.

New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman said in a hearing last week this interference in the U.S. election is a “form of war.” When asked by The Daily Caller Monday about how the U.S. should respond to this “form of war,” her spokeswoman Kirsten Allen responded vaguely.

“Attacks on our democracy whether through cyberspace or otherwise should not go unchecked,” Allen told The Daily Caller. “We must to get to the bottom of what happened in this past election cycle through rigorous and thorough investigation and the Congresswoman will continue to push for robust strategies that ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

California Rep. Eric Swalwell has called Russia’s interference an “act of war,” and appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” last week. Carlson, who founded The Daily Caller, asked, “Do you think we should we use long-range or short-range [intercontinental ballistic missiles]?”

Swalwell responded that the U.S. should impose “long-range sanctions” on Russia. He declined to say the U.S. should respond militarily to Russia. New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Friday that Russia launched an “attack” against the U.S. and laid out three responses.

She said to not respond would be a “kind of 21st century appeasement.” Her responses, however, did not include a military strike. The New Hampshire senator called for increasing sanctions, expanding American propaganda in Russia, creating an independent commission similar to the one after 9/11 to investigate the full extent of Russian interference and putting more troops in Baltic nations.