Conservative columnist George Will on Tuesday called President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE a "sad, embarrassing wreck of a man" in criticizing his performance at this week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Will said Republicans should be embarrassed by Trump's remarks at the summit Helsinki, Finland, in which he attacked the special counsel investigation into Russia's interference in the presidential election, let various comments by Putin stand without question and cast doubt on the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies, seemingly putting equal weight on the word of the Russian leader.
Trump sought to walk back some of his remarks on Tuesday, saying he misspoke at the press conference.
"America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care," Will writes in a Washington Post column. "It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment."
Will writes that Trump, "who bandies the phrase 'America First,'” put himself first and the U.S.'s interests last during his time spent with Putin. He then goes on to list some of the critical comments Trump received regarding his summit from Republican lawmakers, such as Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama MORE (S.C.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (Ariz.).
He also questions if people like Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis The US can't go back to business as usual with Pakistan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default MORE, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsAn independent commission should review our National Defense Strategy Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE can continue to do their jobs for the president.
Will also questioned whether Russia has something on Trump to "keep him compliant."
"Americans elected a president who — this is a safe surmise — knew that he had more to fear from making his tax returns public than from keeping them secret," Will writes. "The most innocent inference is that for decades he has depended on an American weakness, susceptibility to the tacky charisma of wealth, which would evaporate when his tax returns revealed that he has always lied about his wealth, too.
"A more ominous explanation might be that his redundantly demonstrated incompetence as a businessman tumbled him into unsavory financial dependencies on Russians. A still more sinister explanation might be that the Russians have something else, something worse, to keep him compliant."
Will has frequently criticized Trump and the Republican Party throughout Trump's presidency. In June, he called for voters to vote out the GOP in the upcoming midterm elections.