GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona took possibly the hardest stance against President Donald Trump’s performance at his joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday, labeling it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in recent memory.”
“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in recent memory,” McCain said in a statement Monday. “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.”
The president is taking a lot of heat for refusing to acknowledge that Russian agents attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Trump was expected to take a hard line against Putin and address election interference and other topics, like the Russian annexation of Crimea, during the press conference. (RELATED: Trump Talks Putin Election Meddling)
“President Donald 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 to the rest of the world,” McCain said. (RELATED: Republicans Are Outraged Over Putin)
McCain continued to attack the president for what he claims is a “warm relationship with Putin’s regime,” pointing out Putin’s attempts to annex Crimea, attack the Syrian people and “assault Democratic institutions throughout the world.”
“Today’s press conference marks a recent low in the history of the American Presidency,” McCain said. “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.”
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