Dem: Putin trying to 'outflank' US across the globe while Trump tweets

Dem: Putin trying to 'outflank' US across the globe while Trump tweets
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralDemocrats vow court victories won't slow impeachment timeline Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE was allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin to "outflank" the U.S. around the world while Trump is busy tweeting.

Speaking on CNN's "The Situation Room," Espaillat told host Brianna Keilar that he was concerned by statements from the British navy that Russian vessels passed close to British territory over the Christmas holidays.

"This is very concerning to me. This is an attempt by Putin to outflank the White House," Espaillat said.

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"Putin is pushing his military forces across the globe, in addition to his influence or his interference in the electoral processes," he added.

"The president is allowing this to happen while he's involved in tweeting and other kinds of distractions."

The United Kingdom's Royal Navy says at least four Russian ships passed near British waters starting on Saturday, the same day it was reported that Russian submarine activity had increased near undersea NATO communications lines.

“I will not hesitate in defending our waters or tolerate any form of aggression,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said in a statement over the weekend. “Britain will never be intimidated when it comes to protecting our country, our people, and our national interests."

Espaillat warned that Russian election meddling similar to what U.S. intelligence agencies say happened during the 2016 presidential election could occur in other countries as well.

"Not only here in the united States, but in Germany and France. He’s looking to become a bigger player in the planet. And he’s outflanking, in many ways, President Trump," he said.

"I’m very concerned that he’s moving forward as a juggernaut and that the president is allowing this to happen while he is involved in tweeting and other kinds of distractions."