During his 12-day trip overseas, President Trump told reporters Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied to him that his country had any part in meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
While aboard Air Force One, traveling to Hanoi, Vietnam, President Trump stated, “Putin said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”
When reporters asked him if he believed Putin, Trump responded, “Look, I can’t stand there and argue with him. I would rather have him get out of Syria, to be honest with you. I would rather … get to work with him on the Ukraine.”
“Every time he sees me he says ‘I didn’t do that’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said, adding that he thinks Putin is “very insulted” by the allegations that the Kremlin interfered in the elections.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) pounded the president’s remarks Saturday evening, outraged that President Trump would believe anything Putin said.
“There’s nothing “America First” about taking the word of KGB colonel over US intelligence community. There’s no “principled realism” in cooperating w/ Russia to prop up murderous Assad regime. To believe otherwise is naive & places nat’l security at risk,” McCain said in a Twitter post. He included a link to a longer statement on his website, which reads as follows:
Nov 11 2017
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump’s comments about Vladimir Putin:
“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.
“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.”
There’s nothing “America First” about taking the word of KGB colonel over US intelligence community. There’s no “principled realism” in cooperating w/ Russia to prop up murderous Assad regime. To believe otherwise is naive & places nat’l security at risk. https://t.co/SYiVHtHXPX
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 11, 2017