In congressional races, including 10 House seats and one Senate seat up for grabs in Washington, voters must choose candidates who are most capable and willing to keep the president in check and prevent further harm.

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America is now at a point where the judgment of its president is in question.

Asked Monday whether he believes U.S. intelligence agencies or a Russian spy turned autocrat caught attacking America’s election process, President Donald Trump chose Vladimir Putin.

The backlash was immediate and bipartisan. Still, it took the president more than 24 hours to backtrack, saying he misspoke: “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”

He then immediately undercut that by saying, “It could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”

The silver lining in this shocking turn of history is that voters entering the Aug. 7 primary and Nov. 6 general election have clarity about the most important issue they are deciding.

In congressional races, including 10 House seats and one Senate seat up for grabs in Washington, voters must choose candidates who are most capable and willing to keep this president in check on matters affecting our state and nation.

Participation is also essential to counter the global attack on freedom and democracy being waged by Russian President Putin. Just by voting, citizens will demonstrate they still have faith in the democratic process.

Regardless of whether Trump’s campaign colluded in 2016, Russia interfered. A dozen Russian intelligence officers were indicted Friday for interference. The bigger threat is Putin’s ongoing effort to undermine the Western world order that seeks to advance freedom and democracy. That’s being done by eroding trust in Western alliances such as NATO and interfering with elections.

So how should the U.S. commander in chief respond to these attacks? Counter them by shoring up alliances and restoring trust in the U.S. system of government? Or praise the enemy, attack alliances, degrade efforts by Congress and the judiciary to protect our system, and discredit the press informing citizens of these developments?

How does the latter preserve, protect and uphold the Constitution, as presidents swear to do when taking office?

Expectations of presidential behavior are upended, but Americans still demand a leader who stands with America and against its enemies.

Americans and the world also count on U.S. presidents to steadfastly defend freedom, democracy and allies who support these values.

Two years into this administration, it’s no longer about sticking it to liberals, beating Hillary Clinton or bettering Barack Obama. The past can’t be used to deflect or justify what’s happening today. Trump’s actions must be judged for what they are and how they affect the nation going forward.

The justice system and Congress must keep him in check.

Immigration, taxation, health care and infrastructure are all hot topics in congressional races. But now, after Trump’s actions in Europe, the stakes might be higher.

Voters must engage and choose representatives who place country over party and personality, who are committed first and foremost to protecting the United States from enemies working to undermine the nation, and what it stands for at home and abroad.