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As with the aftermath of that controversy, some Republicans rebuked the President.
Many are loath to rein him in because they fear Trump’s popularity with GOP voters, yet even typically cautious Republicans viewed the Helsinki conference as crossing a line.
All this makes Trump’s posture toward Putin even more baffling, especially as he undermines the decades-long transatlantic alliance that has long galled the Russian.
The President’s decisions to leave the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and back out of the Paris Agreement have eroded European leaders’ faith in America’s ability to live up to its international obligations. S.’s long-standing commitment to protect members of NATO–the organization’s central tenet–has raised more alarms.
“There seems to be no rational explanation for President Trump’s behaviors,” said Schumer, “so millions of Americans are left wondering if Putin indeed has something over the President.” A year and a half into his presidency, Trump’s puzzling affinity for Putin has yet to be explained.
Mueller’s team compiled granular details about the operation, including the addresses of buildings used by Russian intelligence services.
But attempts at damage control have done little to soften the criticism.
Republican Senator John Mc Cain called Trump’s performance “disgraceful” and said “no prior President has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.” The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, said the summit raised the question of whether Putin had some kind of damning information on Trump.
’ It was a simple question, asked of President Trump by a seasoned reporter, but it sent a jolt through the assembled media at the July 16 press conference held at an ornate palace in Helsinki. America’s Justice Department, intelligence community and both chambers of Congress have concluded, definitively, that the Kremlin had done it. This was the moment for the President to deliver a forceful rebuke to America’s long-standing adversary.
Vladimir Putin had just denied again that Russia interfered in the 2016 U. Instead, Trump replied: “I have confidence in both parties,” he said.He views this problem entirely through a political lens, these people say, unable or unwilling to differentiate between the question of whether his campaign colluded with Russia–which he denies–and the question of whether Russia attempted to influence the election.“Trump got hung up on his own personal issues” about the election, says Michael Allen, who served on President George W. Whatever the President’s rationale, his equivocation in Helsinki paralleled on the international stage his controversial statements in defense of white nationalists in August 2017.Even the Russians seemed stunned, not so much by the revelations themselves as by Trump’s unwillingness to stand by them. recently expelled 60 Russian spies in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged nerve-agent attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter in England. “That press conference was the single most embarrassing performance by an American President on the world stage that I’ve ever seen,” said William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who served as an aide to Republicans such as James Baker and Condoleezza Rice before becoming Deputy Secretary of State under Barack Obama. partners are now reconsidering their need to defend themselves.