Delaware’s US Senators issued blistering statements on President Donald J. Trump’s performance in yesterday’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
Saying Trump “chose to side with a foreign adversary that attacked our democratic institutions instead of the American people,” the state’s senior member of the Senate, Tom Carper, decried Trump as “too weak to stand up to” the Russian leader.
Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump’s refusal to hold Russia accountable for meddling in the 2016 election was “a historic failure of leadership that will have lasting consequences for national and global security.”
“President Trump was given a choice between backing the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities or siding with Vladimir Putin – he picked Putin,” Coons went on. “President Trump repeated the lie that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian attacks on our election is a ‘witch hunt,’ and he did it while standing next to Putin. That is both alarming and unacceptable.”
Both Carper and Coons called for Congressional action to prevent the president from blocking or interfering with the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Full statements are below.
Statement by US Senator Tom Carper:
“Today, an American president chose to side with a foreign adversary that attacked our democratic institutions instead of the American people, including the brave men and women in the intelligence community who risk their lives to keep us safe. With the entire world watching, President Trump made clear that he is too weak to stand up to Vladimir Putin, even when the integrity of our electoral process — the very core of our democracy — is on the line. While it surely pleased Putin, Trump’s performance was unprecedented and appalling, and his display today absolutely makes us less safe.
“Just days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted for interfering in the 2016 election, Trump still gave Putin a free pass and inexplicably attacked the Special Counsel. Trump trusts Putin, but I trust Bob Mueller.
“It’s beyond clear that President Trump cannot be trusted to look out for American interests and protect our institutions. We must decide what kind of nation we will be for years to come. For generations, America has been the leader of the free world and our democratic institutions have been a model for other nations. Unfortunately, that standing has been seriously compromised. Now, we have reached a defining moment, and these moments in history demand action that puts country over party. Strong rhetoric isn’t enough. Harsh speeches on the Senate floor won’t cut it. It is up to us in Congress to join together and actually uphold the oath we all took — to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Statement by US Senator Chris Coons
“First, President Trump’s refusal to strongly and publicly hold Putin and Russia accountable for attacking our 2016 election, propping up the murderous Assad regime, and illegally invading Crimea was a historic failure of leadership that will have lasting consequences for national and global security,” said Senator Coons.
“Second, President Trump was given a choice between backing the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence communities or siding with Vladimir Putin. He picked Putin. President Trump repeated the lie that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian attacks on our election is a ‘witch hunt,’ and he did it while standing next to Putin. That is both alarming and unacceptable.
“Today’s summit and press conference should be an unmistakable call to members of Congress. We must reassert our responsibility for security and the rule of law in the United States. We should, in a bipartisan way, reaffirm that we will not accept Russia’s lawless attacks on our country and our allies, and we should pass bipartisan legislation to ensure that the President cannot end or interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation.”