Rauner: 'Very clear that Russian agents hacked election systems'
Given that Russian hackers breached election systems in Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday said he was "deeply troubled" by some of President Donald Trump's remarks at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rauner's comments came before Trump reversed course on Tuesday. The president, speaking before a meeting with members of Congress at the White House, said he had meant to say he accepts U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russian agents broke into Democratic email systems to disrupt the 2016 elections.
On Monday, Trump said he saw no reason to doubt Putin's denials of Russian meddling.
"It seems very clear that Russian agents hacked election systems in 22 states including the state of Illinois," Rauner said at an event in Collinsville.
He stated, "I'm extremely troubled by the president's comments and his defense of the Russians. It's clear from the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Putin and Russia are not our friends and the president should focus on holding them accountable for what they've done."
Rauner has distanced himself from the president but praised Vice President Mike Pence at a fundraiser in Rosemont Friday.
Rauner's Democratic opponent in the Nov. 6 election, hotel magnate J.B. Pritzker, seized the opportunity to pressure Rauner to sign legislation allowing Illinois to pull out of Crosscheck, a multistate voter database critics say isn't secure. Later on Tuesday, Rauner vetoed the bill.
"We can't risk Russians having access to sensitive voter data and we can't trust Donald Trump to keep us safe as he cozies up to Vladimir Putin and displays contempt for American intelligence," Pritzker stated.
Daily Herald wire services contributed to this report.