Top Intel Dem: Americans should be skeptical on how hard Trump pressed Putin


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, blasted President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, saying Americans should be skeptical on how hard Trump pressed Putin on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“The American people can be forgiven for a healthy skepticism about just how hard Mr. Trump could have pressed the Russian autocrat, given that the President publicly cast doubt on Russian responsibility and the probity of our intelligence agencies only the day before,” Schiff said in a statement.

“Can we really expect the President to be more forthcoming with the Russian President if he is not willing to fully level with our own people on the same subject?”

Schiff also slammed the possible creation of a working group between the U.S. and Russia on cybersecurity issues.

{mosads}“The establishment of a working group as reported by Foreign Minister Lavrov to study how to curb cyber interference in elections in which the Russians would play any role, would be akin to inviting the North Koreans to participate in a commission on nonproliferation — it tacitly adopts the fiction that the Russians are a constructive partner on the subject instead of the worst actor on the world stage,” Schiff said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after Trump and Putin’s face-to-face meeting that Trump confronted the Russian leader on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance on the ability of us to move Russian-U.S. relationships forward and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries,” Tillerson said. “So more work to be done in that regard.”

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the meeting that Trump “accepted” Putin’s assertion that Russia didn’t meddle in the U.S. election.

“U.S. President Trump said that he heard firm assertions from Russian President Putin that it is not true and that Russian authorities have not meddled in the elections,” Lavrov said. “[Trump] said that he accepts these assertions. That’s it.”

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