George Will calls Trump ‘sad, embarrassing wreck of a man’

Conservative columnist George Will on Tuesday called President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day 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.

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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 GrahamSenators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Graham: People should be fired over surveillance report findings GOP, Trump campaign rip CNN for coverage of Horowitz hearing MORE (S.C.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE (Ariz.). 

He also questions if people like Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Watchdog to audit company's border wall contract | Pentagon to step up vetting of foreign students after Pensacola | Report finds former defense official sexually harassed staffers Threatening foreign states with sanctions can backfire Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE, White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE and 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 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.