Following the president’s unsettling denial of U.S. intelligence’s findings to the former-KGB head of our greatest geopolitical foe, Sen. John Cornyn was the sole dissenting voice on one nonbinding bipartisan resolution in Congress, backing the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections. On the same day, he backed another warning for the president not to surrender American diplomats and officials to Russia for questioning at Putin’s request — which Trump called “an incredible offer” and actually considered for three days.
Why was Cornyn willing to add his voice to one nonbinding bipartisan resolution and not the other? He argued that the first was “purely symbolic” and a waste of Congress’s time, which seems disingenuous when he took time for the second.
Texans can only conclude that the senator isn’t willing to go on official record backing U.S. intelligence findings, despite the president’s denial of them to our adversary.
TIFFANY YATES MARTIN, AUSTIN
Re: July 19 article, “From an Airstream in Aspen, Lance Armstrong riffs on Tour de France.”
Why is the Statesman’s personal fitness section giving good press to Lance Armstrong?
It all sounds so cozy: Armstrong watching the Tour de France from a sleek Airstream in Aspen, Colo., before catching a polo match with his current fiancé.
Armstrong doped every time he saddled up on a bicycle in France — and then vehemently denied it. He lied to race officials; he lied to his international fan base; and he lied to himself and his family. Armstrong is a disgrace to the world of sport, and the Statesman stains its pages by covering his endeavors.
ANDY SIEVERMAN, AUSTIN
When Steve Bannon speaks about a potential run of a popular TV personality for president, maybe we shouldn’t dismiss his crazy talk this time around. Bannon sees Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban and Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, as possible 2020 candidates. Bannon believes a rookie social-media savvy candidate is more electable to U.S. president than anyone with government experience.
A record of civil service is a detriment in Bannon’s new-age social media politics.
Want to be president?
The road to the White House now requires a candidate to get a talk show or reality TV platform to be a player. Forget politicians. Having a record of service to your electorate only serves as fodder for your opponent’s attack ads.
Make no mistake about Bannon’s intentions in floating Winfrey’s name out there as a possible foe for Trump. Seems he really wants to run against Oprah. Why?
How much dirt does he have already?
GLENN KELLY, CEDAR PARK
The despicable performance by President Trump at the summit with Putin makes us less safe and further erodes our democracy.
Trump’s behavior — “aiding and abetting” Russia and his failure to do anything to prevent future meddling in our election — is essentially collusion, and some Republicans Congressmen are also trying to sabotage Robert Mueller’s investigation.
While our senators reinforced their support for our intelligence community and the position that Russia is an adversary, their silence in not condemning the president is frightening. Refusal to stand up to this man and failure to act to minimize his damage is as much of a betrayal to our country as Trump has shown.
They must pressure Trump to implement actions to protect us from further meddling by Russia and they should force the administration to impose the sanctions that were mandated months ago. They should also do what’s necessary to protect the Mueller investigation.
S. B. KUBES, AUSTIN
I was seriously alarmed by Trump’s actions with NATO and with Putin. He did his best to distance and isolate us from our allies. It was clear to all the world that Trump demonstrated his allegiance to Russia and to Putin — outright treason. It was clearly shown Putin is in control of the White House. This makes the Russian hacking look like small potatoes.
Congress needs to act now. Its members have sat too long defending Trump’s outrageous actions and have done nothing. Meanwhile, America is being torn apart by Putin through Trump.
Get Putin out of the presidency and the White House. Write, email or telephone your U.S. senators and representatives. I did.
This is not a liberal issue or a conservative issue. This is an American problem that needs to be addressed before it is too late, if it isn’t already.
JANET SCHNEEWIND, LEANDER
Re: July 20 commentary, “Trump presiding over the murder-suicide of the West.”
I always enjoy reading and hearing David Brooks. He is a conservative of intelligence, intellect, and compassion. His column “Trump presiding over the murder-suicide of the West” was cogent. It paints a sad picture of the tragedy of the Trump administration. The C.S. Lewis quote was befitting of the morass created by Trump — denigrating our longtime allies and consorting with the enemy.
MARIE SMITH, GEORGETOWN
I check temperatures around the country real often. I see that temperatures in Austin are due to go up and up.
Other than obvious things, like keeping pets indoors, how do we convince people of the long-term dangers of climate change?
MARGE WOOD, AUSTIN