“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade implored President Donald Trump to reverse course after appearing to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that he did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
“From the day you came down the escalator, you shocked the world. From November, when everyone had you losing, you shocked the world. It wasn’t because of Russia, but Russia’s goal was to upend our electoral process,” Kilmeade said. “They hate democracy.”
“I will say this to the president — when Newt Gingrich, when General Jack Keane, when Matt Schlapp say the president fell short and made our intelligence apparatus look bad, I think it’s time to pay attention. And it’s easily correctable from the president’s perspective,” Kilmeade said.
“Fox & Friends” host Abby Huntsman, who is also the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, also noted to Trump, “You are standing next to Vladimir Putin whose ultimate goal in life is to undermine our democracy. It was that one moment that had you to stand up for your own country — to stand up for your intelligence community.”
The TV hosts’ comments follow Trump’s appearance at a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki Monday. Trump appeared to give some credence to Putin’s claim that he did not not interfere in the 2016 presidential election despite being told the opposite by his intelligence community leaders.
“I have confidence in both parties,” Trump said, adding that he didn’t see any reason why Russia would interfere on his behalf.
Kilmeade’s direct appeal to the president follows admonishment by many senior Republican leaders in Congress and presidential surrogates. Trump tweeted after the incident justifying his behavior saying:
As I said today and many times before, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.” However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along! #HELSINKI2018
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018