On Monday, Mr. Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki despite many people advising against it. Talks have begun on Capitol Hill to reaffirm in the Senate for the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the US elections. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said:
‘There’s some discussion about what we might be able to do to let the community know we are supportive of them and their efforts — and not be confused by any of this.’
In what may seem like a shocking move to some, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) broke with Trump on Russia, condemning the president’s meeting with Putin. McConnell said in support of the intelligence community:
‘I have said a number of times, I’ll say it again: The Russians are not our friends. And I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.’
‘There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.’
Ryan added that Russia “remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.” According to The Associated Press:
‘Ryan’s comments came after Trump said at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he sees no reason why Russia would interfere in the U.S. election.
‘The Kremlin has denied any state action in the election.’
Both Republican and Democratic key members of Congress have condemned Mr. Trump’s performance at the press conference as “bizarre” and “shameful.” It has been called a “missed opportunity” to stand up to Russia.
The Associated Press reported:
‘House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Trump’s “weakness in front of Putin” proves the Russians have damaging information on him.
‘Standing beside Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Trump declined to criticize Russia for meddling and said he doesn’t see why Russia would have done that.’
The Russians obviously have our so-called president dangling by a string, and it still seems doubtful that he is going to have to answer for his actions anytime soon.
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