President Donald Trump got the morning started off with a tweetstorm detailing his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. His remarks about Putin’s denial of election meddling, the lack of discussion on sanctions and that the United States should partner with Russia to improve cyber security was certain to get tongues a wagging on the Sunday shows.
And that is just what happened.
During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press this morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hit the president pretty hard over his Twitter comments. When host Chuck Todd asked Graham about Trump saying we should work with Putin on cyber security in the future, the Republican lawmaker went off.
“It’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard but it’s pretty close,” he said. Graham added that after giving a good speech in Poland, Trump had a disastrous meeting with Putin, showing that he’s “ready to forgive and forget when it comes to cyber attacks on the American election of 2016.”
Graham went on to state that he liked what the president is doing with North Korea and ISIS in terms of military and diplomatic strategy, so it really upsets him that Trump continues to display a blind spot with Russia.
“I am dumbfounded, I am disappointed,” the South Carolina lawmaker said. “And at the end of the day, he’s hurting his presidency by not embracing the fact that Putin is a bad guy who tried to undercut our democracy and he’s doing it all over the world.”
“I want a clear message to Russia,” he further noted. “If President Trump doesn’t embrace this, he is empowering Russia and undercutting our democracy.”
Graham also said that while there is no proof of collusion between Russia and Trump regarding election interference, if the president continues to act in this way those questions will continue to dog his presidency. He also pleaded directly to Trump to change his public stance.
“Mr. President, you’re hurting your ability to govern this nation by forgiving and forgetting and empowering, forgiving and forgetting when it comes to Russia and our democracy,” he said. “I just don’t get it.”
Watch the clip above, via NBC News.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org