Politics

John McCain On Trump, ‘One Of The Most Disgraceful Performances By An American President In Memory’

Both Republicans and Democrats alike are dismayed by Donald Trump’s comments at his joint press conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Monday. Mr. Trump stunned onlookers by repeatedly defending Putin during the press conference from allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and casting doubt on conclusions to that effect made by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Sen. John McCain said, “Today’s press conference in #Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

McCain continued:

“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.

President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.”

McCain concluded by saying, “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

Retiring Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, one of Mr. Trump’s most outspoken critics in the GOP, called the press conference “shameful.”

“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.”

Democrats also criticized Mr. Trump’s performance. John O. Brennan, who ran the CIA under President Obama, called Mr. Trump’s comments at the press conference “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,” Brennan tweeted. “Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

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