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Statement on the Putin-Trump Summit

“Yesterday’s summit in Helsinki was an unmitigated disaster for America, its allies, and its standing in the world.   “The President should have rebuked Vladimir Putin for the Kremlin’s continuing cyber warfare against the United States, disinformation campaign against democracies around the world, murders of domestic opposition leaders and journalists, and military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Instead, President Trump meekly echoed the lies of the Russian president, faulting America as much as those attacking us.   “President Trump not only directly refused to criticize any part of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to destabilize the West, but, when asked whether he would place his faith in U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement institutions or the word of the Russian president, repeatedly demonstrated his preference for the latter.   “The contrast between Trump’s deferential conduct toward the Russian president and his disgraceful, boorish, and confrontational behavior toward America’s closest democratic allies last week reflects a stunning sympathy for dictators that is unprecedented in American presidential history. So long as this “Trump First” foreign policy is in place, our enemies will be continually emboldened to advance their interests at the expense of the nation.   “It is long past time for members of Congress to take their responsibilities as a co-equal branch of government seriously. Regardless of political party, every congressional representative should make it clear that this anti-American rhetoric in service of a foreign despot is intolerable. If they are unable to do so, if they continue to cover for the president on the basis of political expediency, they must be voted out of office in November. America needs representatives who are willing to act not in the best interests of their party or president, but of their country.”