Maxine Waters slams Trump as 'Putin’s apprentice'

Maxine Waters slams Trump as 'Putin’s apprentice'
© Anna Moneymaker

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDivides over China, fossil fuels threaten House deal to reboot Ex-Im Bank Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers unleash on Zuckerberg | House passes third election interference bill | Online extremism legislation advances in House | Google claims quantum computing breakthrough On The Money: Lawmakers hammer Zuckerberg over Facebook controversies | GOP chair expects another funding stopgap | Senate rejects Dem measure on SALT deduction cap workarounds MORE (D-Calif.) tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE on Sunday, saying that she thinks he is Russian President Vladimir Putin's "apprentice." 

“I think he is Putin’s apprentice. He’s been under his tutelage for a long time now," Waters said on MSNBC's "AM Joy." "And the Republican Party should be ashamed that they are allowing it to happen.”

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Waters, a frequent critic of the president, also said that Republicans in Congress have neither "guts" nor "courage" to push back against Trump.

Her comments came about a week after Trump and Putin met for a high-stakes summit in Helsinki, Finland, where Trump drew bipartisan criticism for his comments on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Trump refused to denounce Moscow's interference in the 2016 election while standing next to Putin in a joint press conference. Trump and the White House attempted to walk back those comments multiple times last week, with Trump saying in an interview with CBS that he held Putin responsible for the election meddling. 

Waters told MSNBC that she wasn't surprised by Trump's actions in Finland, adding that she's been cautioning for a long time that the president is "dangerous." She also asserted that the summit in Finland w as an attempt by Putin to get Trump to lift U.S. sanctions. 

Waters then urged the GOP to take "strong action" against Trump.

“If they don’t take strong action to keep [Trump] from bringing [Putin] here, he’s going to bring him here and that will be another straw in his hat he can point to and say, ‘See, Mr. Putin, I’m moving this forward," Waters said. 

In June, Waters called for demonstrators to publicly confront Trump administration officials. Trump responded by falsely claiming Waters called for harming his supporters, which she has fiercely denied.