GOP lawmaker: Trump was ‘manipulated’ by Putin

GOP lawmaker: Trump was ‘manipulated’ by Putin
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Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickFitzpatrick to face Democrat Christina Finello in key Pennsylvania House race Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support MORE (R-Pa.) says he thinks President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE was “manipulated” by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent who worked on counterintelligence related to Ukraine and Russia, made the comments on Sunday to NPR’s Michel Martin on "All Things Considered" in response to last week’s summit in Helsinki between the two leaders.

"The president was manipulated by Vladimir Putin," he said. "Vladimir Putin is a master manipulator."

Fitzpatrick also said that he was “frankly sickened by the exchange” between Trump and Putin at the summit.

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Trump and Putin met one-on-one for over two hours before participating in an expanded bilateral meeting and then a highly controversial press conference.

With Putin at his side, Trump repeatedly criticized the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and refused to confront Putin about the interference. The summit took place just days after federal prosecutors indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly conspiring to hack into U.S. systems with the intention of swaying the election.

“I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia],” Trump said during the press conference.

The following day, Trump claimed he misspoke during the conference, and meant to say that he did not “see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.”

The White House has not revealed what Trump and Putin discussed during their private meeting, and it has been reported that even top officials do not know what was said. Russia's ambassador to the U.S. has said that "important verbal agreements" were made between the two leaders.

Trump's comments and performance at the summit have drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Fitzpatrick’s comments echoed those of Texas Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach The Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen GOP Rep. Will Hurd marches with protesters in Houston MORE (R), a former CIA officer, who said that Trump was “playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands” and “actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad.”