Following a press conference during which Donald Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin rather than with the U.S. intelligence community regarding Russian election meddling, political Twitter was awash with outrage. Even Republicans were grossed out by the abject display (John McCain called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory”).
Democratic representative Adam Schiff (CA-28), who’s a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, was predictably quick to criticize.
President Trump’s performance today was the most damaging and shameful surrender of American values and interests in modern history.
I say again to my Republican colleagues: Wake up.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 16, 2018
His Republican counterpart on the committee, Republican representative Devin Nunes (CA-22), has yet to comment.
Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33), whose Twitter presence we once praised for being “a beacon of light in the post-election darkness,” also had strong words—but he apparently omitted the strongest ones. In a tweet that linked to a longer statement, Lieu said “It took significant self restraint for me not to use swear words in this release.”
My official statement on the obscene statements by @realDonaldTrump at the Putin summit.
It took significant self restraint for me not to use swear words in this release. https://t.co/aJk41aDSxs
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 16, 2018
Here’s his full statement:
“What Trump did today was utterly shameful, and a slap in the face to the professionals in the Department of Justice and our intelligence community. Today we watched a U.S. President offer total deference to a hostile foreign power while attacking U.S. institutions. By refusing to admit that Russia attacked our Democracy, or that Russia did anything wrong whatsoever, Trump is disturbingly regurgitating the Kremlin’s talking points.
Having served on active duty, I feel nauseous thinking about Trump’s statements. Despite how desensitized we’ve become to Trump’s remarkably un-presidential actions, today should stand out as obscene. What happens next will determine whether we allow our President to cede American ideals and authority to a foreign power. We’re now at a crossroads where we have to decide whether we’re willing to let blind partisan loyalty to Trump lead to the debasing of our country. After this appalling display, will the Republicans finally stand up for America?”
And the saga continues. Shortly after the press conference, the Department of Justice announced it was charging a Russian national named Maria Butina for “efforts…to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”
But, yeah sure. They hosted a great World Cup.