Dem senator: Trump is acting like a Russian 'asset'

Dem senator: Trump is acting like a Russian 'asset'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSenate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ Alabama abortion law sparks fears Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade The CASE Act is an opportunity for creators to have rights and remedies MORE (D-Hawaii) likened President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey: Barr is 'sliming his own department' GOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report Acting DHS secretary threatened to quit after clashing with Miller: report MORE to a Russian intelligence asset on Thursday, saying that his demeanor toward Moscow and attacks on the news media show his "affinity" for authoritarian governments.

Speaking on CNN, Hirono described Trump's assertion that the so-called "Fake News Media" is the "real enemy of the people" – not Russia – as unsettling, and said that the president appeared too willing to embrace Moscow.

"This just once again reinforces this inexplicable affinity that the president has toward basically totalitarian dictators, but in particular to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin," Hirono said.

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"I served on the Intelligence Committee for two years. Countries develop assets that will help them get news, et cetera. In intel language and parlance, the president is acting like he is the asset for Russia," she added.

Trump has faced bipartisan outrage since his joint news conference with Putin in Helsinki on Monday, in which he challenged the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. 

He also appeared to blame the U.S. for current tensions with Russia, rather than cast any blame on Moscow's activities, such as its annexation of Crimea or its ongoing support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

Trump's remarks were a remarkable break from statements from various officials in own administration, which indicted 12 Russian officials just days earlier on charges that they hacked Democratic servers during the 2016 presidential election.

While Trump has sought to walk back his remarks since returning to Washington, he has continued to face intense backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

On Thursday, the Senate voted to rebuke the idea of the U.S. allowing Russian authorities to question American citizens after Trump previously said he would consider the matter.

The White House emphasized on Thursday that Trump was not in favor of such a proposal.