John Kerry: Trump 'surrendered lock, stock and barrel' to Putin's deceptions

John Kerry: Trump 'surrendered lock, stock and barrel' to Putin's deceptions
© Getty Images

Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryUN chief warns unchecked climate change will mean 'survival of the richest' Conservatives rip FBI over IG report: 'scathing indictment' Live coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill MORE offered a blistering criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, saying that Trump "surrendered lock, stock and barrel" to his Russian counterpart.

In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, Kerry blasted Trump's performance at a joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki on Monday, in which he decried the counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and cast doubt on whether Moscow interfered in the race at all.

"This President has surrendered lock, stock and barrel to President Putin's deceptions about the attacks on America's democracy," Kerry said in the statement. "This is insanity."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump's comments at the news conference with Putin drew criticism from across the partisan spectrum, with Democrats and Republicans alike condemning the U.S. president's unwillingness to say whether the Russians sought to interfere in the 2016 election, despite the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community.

Speaking in the Finnish capital, Trump acknowledged that top intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsFormer US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter MORE, had told him that Russia meddled in the election. But he also said that Putin firmly denied the allegation and that he saw no reason why Russia would interfere in the race.

"My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others," Trump said. "They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin – he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be."

While Trump has repeatedly decried the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, his comments on Monday were particularly unusual, having come just three days after a dozen Russian officials were indicted on charges of hacking Democratic servers during the 2016 campaign.

Kerry said that Trump's behavior was indicative of a larger set of problems. 

"The problem isn't Trump having a summit; it's Trump having a policy that's bad for America, bad for our allies, and only good for Vladimir Putin," Kerry said, calling Trump's behavior at the press conference "disgraceful."