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Dem lawmaker: Putin will take Trump’s attack on Mueller probe as ‘green light’ to interfere in 2018

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Monday slammed President Trump for his attacks aimed at special counsel Robert Mueller during a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Putin will take the comments as a “green light” to interfere in the midterm elections later this year. 

“President Trump just attacked our intelligence agencies and law enforcement for doing their jobs while standing next to a dictator who intervened in our election to help elect Trump,” Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, tweeted.

“Putin will take this as a green light to interfere in 2018, and it is. Cowardly and shameful.”

Schiff’s statement came shortly after Trump and Putin appeared for a joint press conference after their meeting concluded in Finland.

Among other things, Trump attacked Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying that “the probe is a disaster for our country.” 

“There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it,” Trump said. The comment came only days after Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking Democratic entities during the 2016 race.

Trump also refused to denounce Russia for interfering in the election and pointed to Putin’s denials to defend his argument. 

 
Trump’s performance in the press conference was quickly criticized by many Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
 
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a frequent critic of Trump’s, called the episode “shameful.” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said Trump’s statements gave Putin and Russia a “propaganda win.” 
Tags Adam Schiff Ben Sasse Donald Trump Jeff Flake Robert Mueller

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