July 16, 2018

Menendez Statement on Trump-Putin Helsinki Summit

 

NEWARK – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, issued the following statement after President Donald Trump sided with Vladimir Putin in rejecting the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia hacked the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help him win.

"The incoherent and appallingly self-serving circus in Helsinki today was as predictable as it was avoidable. The President rejected his solemn duty to uphold and defend American values, ideals and citizens. Instead, he called the United States ‘foolish’ and praised Putin’s meddling denial as ‘strong and powerful’. Today the President unabashedly rejected facts from the United States intelligence community and members of his own Administration that Russia is actively seeking to undermine American democracy. In short, the President chose to side with a foe determined to challenge American power, influence, and security interests at home and abroad.

“How does this put America first, or make America great again?

“Presidents Trump and Putin were not wrong in saying that there are many issues—nuclear non-proliferation, Syria, and Ukraine, to name just a few—on which our countries do not see eye-to-eye and which may merit further dialogue.  However, the fiasco today was not about renewing such dialogue, as the President claimed, but rather about his own fragile ego.  

“This is a watershed moment. Congressional Republicans need to realize these types of global embarrassments are far costlier and more damaging to our nation’s standing than having their domestic agenda adopted and signed into law by a President of their own party. They must stand with us to contain a President who places his own insecurities about his electoral victory above the responsibilities of his office and the rights of all Americans.”

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