PENN YAN – The candidate who will challenge Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) in the November General Election said his statements from earlier this week regarding the issue of Russia and President Trump falls short.
Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano of Penn Yan said in a media release that Reed’s statement was using playground language when saying “Russia is not our friend” along with the term “meddling.”
On Monday afternoon, Reed stent out a statement following the Donald Trump–Vladimir Putin summit in Helsinki, in which Trump appeared to have sided with Russia over U.S. intelligence agencies regarding the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election and campaign. The comments from the president drew criticism and condemnation from members of congress from both sides of the political aisle.
However, Reed’s statement avoided any mention of President Trump, but did confirm he believed Russia did meddle in the 2016 election process. But it also called for the end of the Mueller investigation.
Reed’s statement read:
“Russia is not our friend, and I have no doubt they have, and are trying to, meddle in our elections. However, there is no evidence of collusion with any American, and it is time for the Mueller probe to come to a close. By completing the investigation, we will restore faith in our democratic electoral process.”
Mitrano said she was disappointed Reed called for an end to the Mueller investigation “while never once standing up for the outstanding work of our intelligence community and justice department.”
Mitrano also said, “Neither Reed nor the president takes cyberattacks seriously, because neither Reed nor the president understands them. As a cybersecurity expert, I am certain that 21st-century warfare will be cyberwarfare. The hacking of 2016 was just the first skirmish, and I want to make sure that America is well-fortified into the future. Right now, we are terribly vulnerable, and neither Congress nor our executive is doing anything to improve our position.”
Mitrano is an attorney and internet security expert and has worked for various colleges to assist with both online and network security.
She closed her statement by saying, “We have three branches of government so that no one branch will have too much power. Our district must send a person to Congress who will question and push back against dangerous or craven executive speech and actions. Tom Reed is not that person; I will be.”