McMullin: Trump ‘siding with America’s greatest adversary’

Former conservative independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin on Friday slammed President-elect Donald Trump for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin.

McMullin, a former CIA operative and GOP congressional staffer, tweeted that Trump “is siding with America’s greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this.”

Trump praised Putin on Friday for deciding not to retaliate against a series of measures ordered by President Obama the previous day.

The sanctions announced by the Obama administration were in response to the Moscow-backed hacking of Democratic groups whose stolen documents were published in the months leading up to Trump’s electoral win.

{mosads}Those measures include sanctions against Russia’s two leading intelligence services and four top officers; the ejection of 35 Russian intelligence operatives and their families from the U.S.; and the closing of two estates in New York and Maryland believed to be used by Russia for intelligence activities.

On Friday, Russian officials threatened retaliatory measures, but Putin said he would instead wait until the start of the Trump administration.

Trump tweeted about the delay Friday, writing, “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”

Trump’s pledge to seek a closer relationship with Russia has caused consternation on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Russia’s response to the sanctions “shrewd.” 

“The Russians hope to get everything they want from Donald Trump merely by flattering the man. So far, it’s been successful,” he said Friday on MSNBC. 

“If they can get what they want by just saying nice things about the man, why risk upsetting the apple cart over a few expulsions?” 

The Senate Armed Services Committee — led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a vocal critic of Russia — announced Friday it is planning to hold a hearing next Thursday on foreign cyber threats, including from Russia.

Tags Adam Schiff Donald Trump Donald Trump Evan McMullin John McCain United States election interference by Russia Vladimir Putin

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