Senate

Schumer: Does Putin have ‘damaging information’ on Trump?

Anna Moneymaker

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted President Trump’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 Mueller’s probe — leaves “a single, ominous question … over the White House.” 
 
{mosads}”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 Pelosi (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 Merkley (D-Ore.) said it was “likely” Moscow had something on Trump.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Jeff Merkley Nancy Pelosi Robert Mueller

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