Schumer Raises 'Possibility That Putin Holds Damaging Information Over President Trump'

Susan Jones | July 17, 2018 | 5:03am EDT
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasts President Trump for "putting himself over our country." (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - "In the entire history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an adversary the way President Trump has supported President Putin," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer fumed on Monday, following President Trump's much-criticized press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Among other things, President Trump told a joint news conference with Putin he thinks the United States has been "foolish" in its dealings with Russia for failing to hold constructive dialogue before this. Trump called the Mueller probe "a disaster for our country" and said it has had a "negative impact" on relations with Russia. And he left open the question of Russian election meddling, saying "I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today."

Schumer and many other Trump opponents pounced:


For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, it's dangerous, it's weak," Schumer said:

The president is putting himself over our country. Starting with the president's trip to NATO, ending with his shameful performance at today's press conference, President Trump has strengthened our adversaries while weakening our defenses and those of our allies.

A single, ominous question now hangs over the White House -- what could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russia over those of the United States? Millions of Americans will continue to wonder.

The only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump.

Schumer accused the president of "kneecapping our allies and offering a helping hand to our adversaries."

The minority leader also insisted that Trump should have been confrontational with Putin, not conciliatory:

On Friday, Rod Rosenstein and Bob Mueller handed President Trump the evidence that President Putin had requested. The 29 page indictment is a document of unparalleled work and is exactly what the president needed to stand up to Mr. Putin.

He should have marched in, put the indictment on the table and demanded justice. Rather than taking the opportunity to confront Putin, rather than taking the opportunity to demand that Putin hand over the named Russian intelligence agents indicted last week, the president sided with Vladimir Putin's denial over the unanimous -- unanimous conclusion of the United States intelligence community.

He took the word of the KGB over the men and women of the CIA. Rather than placing blame for what happened in 2016 on Russia where it belongs, the president had the gall to blame both countries for the troubled relationship, the president put what's best for him over what's best for the security and well being of the United States.

Schumer demanded that Republicans in Congress "stand up" and join the bipartisan booing of the president.

He made four demands of Republicans:

-- Ratchet up sanctions against Russia;.

-- Join Democrats in demanding that Trump's national security team "immediately come and testify before Congress";

-- End "attacks on the Department of Justice, the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller;

-- Insist that the 12 Russians named in the DOJ indictment be sent to the United States immediately to stand trial.

"What the president has done is an insult to all Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents. We all have to stand up together and push back," Schumer said.

Trump is defending his call for "productive dialogue" with Russia. He called Putin a "competitor," and he said he "would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.

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