McCain Derides Trump For Taking Putin’s Word On Russian Election Interference : The Two-Way : NPR

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President Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speak in the course of the household photograph session on the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam on Saturday.

Jorge Silva/AP


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Jorge Silva/AP

President Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speak in the course of the household photograph session on the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam on Saturday.

Jorge Silva/AP

Arizona Sen. John McCain stepped up his criticism of the White House over the weekend, blasting President Trump for seeming to simply accept Russian chief Vladimir Putin’s badurances that the Kremlin did not intervene in U.S. elections.

“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community,” McCain mentioned in a written badertion, referring to Trump’s acknowledged overseas coverage goal and to Putin, a former operative within the Russian intelligence service.

“Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk,” McCain, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, mentioned.

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Trump, who met with Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam, advised reporters that he had once more requested Putin if he meddled within the election.

Speaking on Air Force one, Trump mentioned Putin had advised him that he “absolutely did not meddle in our election, he did not do what they are saying he did.”

“I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” the president mentioned.

Later, the president sought to make clear, saying: “I believe that he [Putin] feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the elections.”

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“As to whether I believe it, I’m with our agencies,” Trump mentioned, “As currently led by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies.”

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Although the president has wavered in his evaluation about Russian interference within the November election – alternately calling it “fake news” and acknowledging that it occurred — his intelligence chiefs haven’t, save for CIA Director Mike Pompeo who did, solely to have his personal company later stroll again his remarks.

McCain has turn out to be more and more vital of President Trump in current weeks.

The Arizona Republican denounced “half-backed spurious nationalism” and the abandonment of U.S. world management in what amounted to a thinly veiled excoriation of the White House.

McCain’s unvarnished criticism comes as unbiased counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump marketing campaign to break the candidacy of Hillary Clinton heats up.

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