WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Quaker lobby, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), issued the following statement regarding the summit between the U.S. and Russia. The statement can be attributed to Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary:
“President Donald Trump’s attack on the credibility and conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies while standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was a deeply troubling and dangerous blow against our democracy.
“The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) calls on all Americans to resist the president’s disregard for the truth and his denigration of the institutions we rely on to govern ourselves.
“Our society cannot function without strong democratic institutions to protect and preserve the public good. The president of the United States should always look to protect those institutions, albeit by always working to perfect them, not just by blindly defending them against all change or criticism. The president must never be someone who regularly acts to undermine and wreck those institutions, who defends his own interests ahead of the interests of the nation, and who sides with foreign autocrats against the reasoned, well-argued criticism of professional U.S. intelligence services.
“Throughout our 450-year-old history, Quakers have been critical of governments here and abroad, yet we have always stood up for the important role of government in preserving the common good. For us, the solution to poor democracy has always been more democracy; the solution to injustice is to create justice. Today, we are again called to say that our society needs a credible government and strong government institutions to defend democracy, promote justice, and preserve the common good.
“We are particularly concerned that President Trump questions the conclusions of his own intelligence experts that Russia has meddled with the 2016 elections. We applaud members of Congress from both major political parties who have questioned the president’s statements, and we encourage others to do the same.
“The United States needs to continue to vigorously investigate all accusations of efforts to undermine our electoral system to assure free and fair elections, whether from overseas or within our own borders. Given that the U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia did work to undermine the 2016 election, we hope that the U.S. government and the Congress will pursue these accusations fully and release the results.
“We urge all members of Congress to speak out strongly and forcefully in support of our democracy, our government institutions, and of the continuing investigation on Russian meddling in our elections.”
Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.