Schumer: Does Putin have 'damaging information' on Trump?
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level Progressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan MORE (D-N.Y.) blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE's rhetoric at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, and questioned if Moscow has "damaging information" on Trump. 

Schumer said in a statement that Trump's performance — in which he downplayed Russia's election interference and knocked special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE's probe — leaves "a single, ominous question ... over the White House." 
 
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"What could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russia over those of the United States? Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump," Schumer said. 
 
Trump sparked immediate backlash from former intelligence officials, Democrats and some GOP lawmakers for his handling of the joint press conference with Putin. During the press conference Trump refused to denounce Russia's 2016 election meddling and said both countries were to blame for the current low point in U.S.-Russia relations. 
 
"I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish. ... I think we're all to blame," Trump told a reporter when asked if he held Russia accountable.
 
Schumer on Monday lambasted Trump's rhetoric, calling it a "shameful performance" that weakened U.S. allies. 

"For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak. The president is putting himself over our country," Schumer said in a statement. 
 
Trump's warm rhetoric toward Russia has sparked skepticism from lawmakers for years. Democrats have previously questioned if Russia has damaging information on Trump. 
 
Putin was asked during the press conference if he had compromising information on Trump and said that he had heard a "rumor" of Russia "allegedly collecting compromising material" on Trump during a trip to Moscow before he ran for president. 
 
"Let me tell you this, when President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn't even know that he was in Moscow," Putin said.

Trump added that if Russia had information on him "it would have been out long ago.”

Schumer's comments were later echoed by House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level MORE (D-Calif.), who said the press conference "proves the Russians have something on the president, personally, financially or politically." 

Their remarks also come after Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Ore.) said it was "likely" Moscow had something on Trump.