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Republicans, Democrats slam Trump for being soft on Putin.

Republicans joined Democrats and national security experts in forcefully condemning President Donald Trump for essentially giving Vladimir Putin a pass on Russia’s interference in the US presidential election. “There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. That is not just the finding...
Time: 14:33     Date: 16.07.2018
Last US News: Republicans, Democrats slam Trump for being soft on Putin. NY Post 24 - US News

“There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

Trump stunned a post-summit joint news conference with Putin in which he seemed to buy the Russian strongman’s denials.

“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it should be,” the commander-in-chief said, contradicting his own intelligence community, which concluded last year that Russia had deliberately meddled on Putin’s orders.

“The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally,” Ryan continued.

“There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”

Ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, whom Trump has repeatedly mocked over his vote against killing Obamacare despite his ongoing battle with brain cancer, released a blistering statement.

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” he said.

“He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script. No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican and frequent critic of the president, also weighed in, criticizing an earlier Trump tweet that blamed poor relations between the US and Russia on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

“I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful,” Flake tweeted.

“A better thing, Mr. President, would be to declare: ‘Russia is the enemy of America and our allies, and we will expose and respond to their continued cyber-attacks against our nation,’” Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse added on Twitter.

“Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections,” said South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsay Graham, one of the president’s golfing buddies.

“This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves.”

“There’s no question that Putin interfered in the elections,” Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker told reporters in Washington.

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, offered a theory about why Trump wouldn’t criticize the Russian leader, a former KGB officer.

“I get the feeling, I’ve seen it first-hand actually, sometimes the president cares more about how a leader treats him personally than forcefully getting out there and pushing against things that we know have harmed our nation,” Corker said.

“I thought that was what you all experienced today. I did not think this was a good moment for our country.”

Fox News host Abby Huntsman — whose father, Jon, is the US ambassador to Russia — also slammed Trump’s performance.

“No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus,” she wrote on Twitter. Huntsman’s father joined Trump in Helsinki.

And John Brennan, CIA director during then-President Obama’s second term, was even harsher.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???” he asked on Twitter.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley told BuzzFeed “it’s likely” that Putin has damaging information about the president.

Asked if that were the case during the news conference, Putin hesitated before answering, “For us this issue — and now to the compromising material. Yeah, I did heard these rumors that these allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow,” he said.

“Distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: When President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn’t even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow.”

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