Democrat: It’s like Putin gave Trump a ‘script’

Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierFemale House Dems urge Senate to delay Kavanaugh testimony for FBI investigation Election Countdown: Kavanaugh allegations put GOP in tough spot | Republicans start to pull plug on candidates | Dems get early start in Iowa | O'Rourke defends Cruz after protesters interrupt dinner | Why Biden is the Democrat GOP most fears Dems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage MORE (D-Calif.) said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE's attacks on key U.S. institutions are tearing at the seams of the country's democracy in the same vein as Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"If you look at the institutions that the president has attacked — the Department of Justice, the FBI, the judiciary and the media — I mean, I would argue that all of those institutions are part of what makes this country free," Speier said on CNN. 

"And the democracy is going to start to erode, and you got Vladimir Putin there smiling. I mean, it's like he gave Donald Trump the script."


Speier's comments came after Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a contentious memo alleging that FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials misused their authority to obtain a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former adviser to the Trump campaign.

Committee Republicans argued that it was necessary to release the memo because it exposed alleged abuses by federal law enforcement officials and shed light on the beginnings of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats raised concerns about the accuracy of the memo, however, which they said omitted key information that would help put the FBI's actions in the proper context. They also accused Republicans of releasing the memo to discredit the ongoing investigation into Russia's election meddling in order to protect Trump.

After the memo was released on Friday, Trump called the FBI's alleged conduct in the document a "disgrace" and said that "a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves."

Trump has repeatedly attacked the FBI and the DOJ over the Russia investigation, which he has called a "witch hunt."