Republican Sen. John McCain called out President Donald Trump on Twitter Thursday morning after the president said U.S.-Russian relations are at an “all-time low” and put the blame on Congress.
“Our relationship w/ Russia is at dangerous low,” the senator tweeted on Thursday. “You can thank Putin for attacking our democracy, invading neighbors & threatening our allies.”
McCain was referencing Trump’s tweet from earlier Thursday morning, in which the president blamed Congress for taking the relationship to a new low. “Our relationship with Russia is at an all-time & very dangerous low,” Trump tweeted. “You can thank Congress, the same people that can’t even give us HCare!”
Trump signed a bill Wednesday imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia in an attempt to punish the nation for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The bill targets Russia’s energy sector through granting Congress the authority to sanction individual investors in Russia’s oil export pipelines.
“Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking,” Trump said in a statement. “By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.”
McCain’s response to the president in part echoed a chief talking point championed by disgruntled Democrats who have spent months trying to understand why former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost the presidency.
Democrats and Clinton supporters have eagerly amplified the narrative that the former secretary of state lost to Trump because Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Democratic candidates and elected officials from Hillary Clinton to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe have floated the idea that American operatives helped Russia organize and execute their hacks of the 2016 presidential election. Thus far, however, there is no hard evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
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