Lawmakers critical of Trump's remarks at news conference with Putin
Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.
July 16, 2018 04:43 PM
Elected leaders from the Capital Region — including some Republicans — are criticizing President Donald Trump's performance at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "dangerous" and "a sad day for America."
Top Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says never in the history of the country has a U.S. president supported an adversary the way Trump supported Putin.
In the entire history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an American adversary the way @realDonaldTrump has supported President Putin.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 16, 2018
The junior senator from New York, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, says Trump abdicated his national security responsibilities when he refused to hold Putin accountable.
We just witnessed the President of the United States abdicate his national security responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief. When he was given the chance to hold Putin accountable and condemn Russia's interference in our elections, he refused.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 16, 2018
Rep. Paul Tonko says the president needs to explain his actions to the American people.
For reasons he desperately needs to explain to the American people, President Trump refuses to acknowledge the clear and indisputable reality that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a foreign campaign to sabotage U.S. elections.— Paul Tonko (@RepPaulTonko) July 16, 2018
Rep. John Faso, a Republican, says he does not agree with the president's approach. He says Putin's denials of meddling in the 2016 presidential election have no credibility.
My thoughts on today's press conference in Helsinki: pic.twitter.com/TmzjombHwA— John Faso (@RepJohnFaso) July 16, 2018
North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik also disagreed with the president and tweeted, "I support the Mueller investigation in getting to the political truth."
As I have said many times before, but worth repeating today. I believe Russia is an adversary and we must continue to work with our allies to counter Russia’s influence around the world. I disagree with the President’s statement today.— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) July 16, 2018
The New York delegation was not alone in expressing disappointment with the news conference. House Speaker Paul Ryan says there's "no question" that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and continues to try undermine democracy in the United States and around the world.
The Wisconsin Republican says the American intelligence community and the House Intelligence Committee agree that Russia interfered in the election. He adds: "The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally." Ryan says Russia "remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals."
Sen. John McCain called it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory."
The Arizona Republican says Trump proved not only unable, "but unwilling to stand up to Putin." He said Trump and Putin "seemed to be speaking from the same script" as Trump made a "conscious choice to defend a tyrant."
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says Trump's performance at the summit with Putin was not "a good moment for our country. This was a very good day for President Putin."
Former CIA Director John Brennan tweeted that Trump's behavior exceeds the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors. Brennan says, "It was nothing short of treasonous."
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???— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Perhaps as a response to his critics, Trump later in the day tweeted that he has great confidence in his intelligence people, but "to build a brighter future we cannot exclusively focus on the past." He also shared a photo of him and Putin with the quote, "I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics."
Updated: July 16, 2018 04:43 PM
Created: July 16, 2018 04:05 PM
Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved