Sen. Dick Durbin: Trump ‘Totally Dazzled’ by Putin, Saudi Prince, Authoritarian Leaders

By Melanie Arter | May 6, 2019 | 12:00pm EDT
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( – Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that President Donald Trump is “totally dazzled” by Russian President Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian leaders.

When asked whether he supports the Trump administration’s approach to the situation in Venezuela, Durbin said, “I support their approach, but I don't agree with Lindsey Graham. I am not in favor of military intervention, but I can just tell you that I listened to Secretary of State Pompeo trying to explain this president's conversation with Vladimir Putin, and I just don't get it.

“This president is totally dazzled by Vladimir Putin, by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, by authoritarian leaders in countries like Brazil. He gets on the phone with them and he loses it, gets all googly eyed, over their assertions they have nothing to do with what's going on in Venezuela. Listen to what John Bolton says. Listen to what-- even what Secretary of State Pompeo said,” Durbin said.

“Russia has sent at least a planeload full of these little green men that we've seen in Eastern Ukraine and they are destabilizing the situation there. They're there to support Maduro. They don't want to see the change that the American people want to see and that's to have a free election in that country, and a choice of someone democratically,” the senator added.


In an earlier interview on “Face the Nation,” Pompeo was asked why Trump didn’t bring up the topic of Russian interference when he spoke to Putin on Friday.

“You'll have to ask the White House that question. The president has been very clear. The administration has taken great action. I wish the previous one had stopped the election interference that took place in 2016. They failed to do so,” the secretary said.

“Between 2017 when President Trump came into office and 2018, we had a successful election year, a set of midterm elections. We're working diligently to ensure that the elections in 2020 aren't interfered with by Russia, by Iran, by North Korea or anyone else,” he said.

“We have enormous resource deployed against that challenge, and the American people should be sure that their government is working hard to keep our election safe and secure,” Pompeo said.


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