Maxine Waters slams Trump as 'Putin’s apprentice'

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

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersDem House chairs: Mueller report 'does not exonerate the president' Live coverage: Frenzy in DC as Congress, White House brace for Mueller report House Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) tore into President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg on Mueller report: 'Politically, I'm not sure it will change much' Sarah Sanders addresses false statements detailed in Mueller report: 'A slip of the tongue' Trump to visit Japan in May to meet with Abe, new emperor 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.