President Donald Trump calls Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interference in our 2016 presidential race a “hoax,” but it’s really a national security scandal.

When an enemy nation steals an American election, that’s an act of war. U.S. political parties can legitimately duke it out all they want, using opposition research to convince voters to support their candidates, but foreign governments are prohibited from participating in electing our representatives.

Russia meddled in our latest presidential election. The Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency produced a report entitled "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" dated January 6, 2017. The Intelligence Community Assessment states that Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. He intended to damage public faith in the U.S. democratic process and harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of getting elected. Putin and the Russian government favored Trump. Russia’s intelligence services hacked into our computers, and Russian military intelligence used Guccifer 2.0 persona and to release carefully selected Clinton “victim data” to WikiLeaks for publication, accordng to the intelligence report.

While special prosecutor Robert Mueller investigates Moscow’s attack on our republic and the possible involvement of any U.S. citizens, Republicans at the highest levels of the federal government are busy diverting attention from this criminal investigation. Why? Is it getting too close to the Oval Office? We must let this investigation continue, take seriously Mueller’s findings and act upon them. It seems certain that Putin is gearing up to influence future elections. Are we preparing ourselves?

Rose White. La Crosse