Leading Democratic Sen. Mark Warner on Tuesday criticized President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the idea “an embarrassment” to the Untied States.
“To me, the idea was the weakest performance by an American president ever,” the Democratic senator via Virginia said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Warner added of which he is usually afraid Trump may have “gotten taken advantage of” in his private session with Putin.
Warner is usually the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been conducting a probe into Russian interference inside the 2016 election.
On Monday, Trump sparked backlash via both Democrats along with Republicans after he sided with Putin rather than his own intelligence services on whether Russia had meddled inside the campaign. After his press conference with Putin, Trump tweeted of which he has “GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people,” nevertheless the idea did little to stem criticism of his performance.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a frequent critic of the president, offered a blistering take on Trump’s meeting with Putin, calling the idea “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
After the Trump-Putin joint appearance, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a prepared statement, of which “there is usually no question of which Russia interfered in our election along with continues attempts to undermine democracy here along with around the entire world.”
Warner characterized Trump’s refusal to criticize Putin as throwing the entire U.S. intelligence community “under the bus.”
“I worry of which if the president was so weak in public with Putin, what genuinely happened in of which couple hours session in private,” Warner said, adding he is usually “unsure” how Congress can get of which answer. “We sure as heck need a briefing.”
Trump will meet with members of Congress on Tuesday after many lawmakers criticized his performance at the summit, the White House said.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Warner’s comments.
The Democratic Party’s biggest financiers are reportedly pushing Warner, who is usually known on Capitol Hill as a moderate, to run for president in 2020. He is usually also a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing along with Urban Affairs along with the Senate Finance Committee.