Dem rips Trump's call to include Russia in G-7: What does Putin have on him?

Dem rips Trump's call to include Russia in G-7: What does Putin have on him?
© Greg Nash

Oregon Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed flight Manchin draws line against repealing legislative filibuster The Hill's 12:30 Report: Supreme Court ruling marks big win for abortion rights groups MORE (D) slammed President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE's support for Russia's readmission to the Group of Seven (G-7) on Friday, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have something on Trump that could have contributed to his decision.

In a tweet, Merkley accused the president of doing Putin's "bidding," while distancing key U.S. allies, despite Russia's involvement with the Syrian civil war and Moscow meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"Ok, really: what does Putin have on @realDonaldTrump? Russia has attacked our election, invaded Ukraine, slaughtered innocent Syrians, and yet Trump does Russia’s bidding while alienating our allies who stand with us. Which country is the American President working for?" he tweeted.

Merkley's tweet came hours after Trump told reporters before leaving for the G-7 summit in Canada that Russia should be readmitted to the group of powerful nations, despite it not being "politically correct" to say so.

“With that being said, Russia should be in this meeting,” he said. "Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting?"


“Whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run,” Trump added. “And in the G-7, which used be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

Minutes after Merkley's tweet, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCan Republicans handle the aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia Trump's Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MORE voiced similar concerns on Twitter. 

In a tweet, Biden said Trump's comment “makes no sense,” and denounced the president for wanting to "reward" Putin.

“Putin’s Russia invaded its neighbors, violated our sovereignty by undermining elections, and attacks dissidents abroad,” Biden wrote. “Yet our President wants to reward him with a seat at the table while alienating our closest democratic allies. It makes no sense.”

Merkley, a top critic of the Trump administration, ratcheted up his criticism of Trump in recent days by posting a video of himself attempting to gain access to an immigration detention facility in Texas.

"The reason why I came is this new policy that the attorney general has in place of families that are waiting for the adjudication of their application for asylum in the U.S., and the children are being separated," Merkley said in a Facebook video before being barred entry.