(EDITOR’S NOTE, 12:40 PM, 7/6/18: Sen. Daines’ spokesperson told the Missoulian that the senator returned to Washington, DC on Wednesday — one day earlier than the rest of the delegation was due to return, according to the official schedule. However, the meeting did in fact take place on July 4 according to multiple news reports, and a direct flight from Moscow to Washington, DC is approximately 10 hours and 30 minutes. Grit Post’s calls attempting to clarify the reports from NPR and The Hill with Sen. Daines’ office have not been returned as of this writing. We will update this article in the event of a response.)

Apparently, Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) doesn’t have a very high opinion of his constituents’ intelligence, given the discrepancy between his recent Russia trip and a 4th of July post to his Twitter account.

On Wednesday night, Sen. Daines tweeted a photo of himself and his wife outside of the U.S. Capitol building, saying, “Hearing the sound of fireworks all around us, celebrating freedom!” Another photo of Daines and his wife posted to his Twitter account reads, “Fireworks over the Washington Monument and the U.S. Army Band Stars and Stripes Forever. Proud moment.”

However, there is photo evidence of Sen. Daines in Moscow meeting with Russian officials on the 4th of July. According to a report in The Hill about a Republican delegation’s recent visit to Russia, Senator Daines, as well as Senators Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), John Thune (R-South Dakota), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) were all sitting at a table with senior-level Russian officials. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) was also at the meeting in Moscow.

Republicans meet with Russian officials in Moscow. Sen. Daines, far right, is circled in red. (Photo: AP)
Republican delegation meeting with Russian officials in Moscow. Steve Daines’ face is circled in red. (Photo: AP)

The timing of the meeting was particularly notable, as fellow Republican Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, published a statement just one day prior to the Moscow meeting agreeing with U.S. Intelligence agencies’ prior assessment that Russia not only interfered in the 2016 presidential election, but did so in order to help Donald Trump win.

During the meeting, Republicans urged Russia to not interfere in the 2018 midterm elections. For their part, the Russian officials at the meeting denied that there was any interference in the 2016 election despite the conclusion of the Senate Intelligence Committee, multiple U.S. intelligence bodies, and evidence that Russia hacked voting machines inside the U.S. in 2016.

“I think it’s a given in the United States, in both parties, that Russia tried to meddle and probably did meddle in the election,” Sen. Shelby told the Associated Press.

In January, prior to becoming Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo — in his role as CIA director — said that he expects Russia to interfere in the pivotal Congressional elections this November.

Grit Post’s calls to Sen. Daines’ DC office and his cellphone were not returned as of this writing.


Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.


    1. Treason hang them high they are selling our country out there is no reason for them to be there all they want to do is get their story straight

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