National Security

Kerry on Trump’s Russia response: ‘I don’t buy his walk-back for one second’

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Former Secretary of State John Kerry is blasting President Trump for his handling of Russia this week, calling Monday’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin “disgraceful.”

“I thought it was shocking,” Kerry said in an interview airing Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I found it to be one of the most disgraceful, remarkable moments of kowtowing to a foreign leader by an American president that anyone has ever witnessed.”

{mosads}”It wasn’t just that it was a kind of surrender. It’s that it’s dangerous. The president stood there and did not defend our country. He stood there and did not defend the truth, did not defend the facts.”

The former Democratic presidential nominee added that he didn’t believe Trump’s later statement on Tuesday in which he claimed that he meant to say that he didn’t see any reason why election interference “wouldn’t” have been committed by Russia — after initially saying the opposite.

“I don’t buy his walk-back for one second. And by the way, how can anyone buy walk-back after walk-back when you take positions here and then take positions over here, and you’re repetitively walking back and changing?” Kerry asked.

Trump’s frequently changing positions, Kerry added, along with his frequent attacks on the media he dubs “fake news,” have contributed to a dangerous climate in America.

“We are at a point where after the documented untruths of this president — documented by many, many different media sources, that there is no credibility. You don’t know whether to believe or not believe, that’s the worst situation you could have for a president of the United States and a dangerous world,” Kerry said.

“[I]t’s dangerous because it sends a message to President Putin and the rest of the world that the President of the United States, the leader of the free world really doesn’t have a handle on what he’s doing and that he doesn’t, you know, know either what the facts are or he won’t accept the facts.”

Trump’s initial statement Monday prompted rebukes from both sides of the aisle, including top Republicans who chastised the president for ignoring evidence of Russian efforts to undermine democracy.

The White House has since stated that Trump made the remarks in error, though Trump again stated that “other people” could have been involved in efforts to meddle in the 2016 election on Tuesday. 

Tags 2016 presidential election Donald Trump Donald Trump Helsinki summit John Kerry John Kerry Russia Russian election interference State Department Vladimir Putin White House

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