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O'Rourke calls for Trump's impeachment over Putin summit
Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) said on Tuesday that President Trump's performance at a controversial news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin warrants impeachment - and that he would vote to do so.
"Standing on stage in another country with the leader of another country who wants to and has sought to undermine this country, and to side with him over the United States - if I were asked to vote on this I would vote to impeach the president," O'Rourke said, according to The Dallas Morning-News.
"Impeachment, much like an indictment, shows that there is enough there for the case to proceed and at this point there is certainly enough there for the case to proceed," he added.
O'Rourke's comments came a day after Trump challenged the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and appeared to place blame on Washington for current tensions with Moscow, all while standing alongside Putin in Helsinki.
The president's remarks drew fire from both Democrats and Republicans, who admonished Trump for rebuking his own intelligence agencies and seemingly creating a moral equivalence between the U.S. and Russia.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), whom O'Rourke is challenging for his Senate seat, dismissed the remarks on Twitter as "partisan extremism" and a fundraising ploy.
Cruz told CNN on Monday that the U.S. should be "acting vigorously to prevent Russian aggression."
"I think it's a mistake to be apologizing for Vladimir Putin," Cruz told CNN's Manu Raju. Asked whether he believes Trump apologized to Putin during the summit, Cruz replied: "You have my statement."
But O'Rourke said that Cruz's response to Trump's performance failed to address the president directly.
"I heard him talk about Russia but I did not hear him say a word about the president's conduct," he said, according to the Morning News.
Cruz is leading O'Rourke slightly in the polls. Trump won the state by nearly 1 million votes in 2016, and the Cook Political Report currently rates the Senate race as a "likely Republican" victory.
But O'Rourke is trouncing Cruz in fundraising, bringing in a whopping $10.4 million over the past three months and raising his cash-on-hand to $14 million. Cruz reported raising $4 million in the same time frame, putting his cash-on-hand at $10 million.
-Updated 4:18 p.m.