On Saturday, Sen. John McCain blasted Trump for saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
In a statement, McCain stated, “President Trump today stated that he believed Vladimir Putin is being sincere when he denies Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reiterated that he hopes to cooperate with Russia in Syria.”
He continued, “There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. There’s no ‘principled realism’ in cooperating with Russia to prop up the murderous Assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”
McCain’s statement comes after Trump’s comment on Saturday where he asked Putin about meddling in the election. His comments also seemed to indicate Trump believes Putin over his own intelligence agencies.
Trump said, “I mean, give me a break, they are political hacks. So you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he is proven now to be a leaker. So you look at that and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with them.”
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“He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. I just asked him again. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did,” he said.
Trump continued, “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”
He added, “I think he is very insulted by it.”
Trump has repeatedly cast doubt that Russia inferred in the election.
During a joint press conference with the Vietnamese President, Trump has walked back his statement and says that he believes intelligence agencies. He stated, “I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their current leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies … as currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”
But he is still refusing to say that Russia meddling in the election. On Putin’s denials, Trump asserted, “I believe he believes that.”
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