President Donald Trump today said he had a “great” meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, alleging that the mainstream US media is trying and disparage the Helsinki summit. “I had a GREAT meeting with Putin and the Fake News used every bit of their energy to try and disparage it,” Trump said in a tweet. “So bad for our country!” rued the president who has been slammed by the US media and political opponents after his joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland last week.
This was the first US-Russia summit under the Trump administration. Trump’s opponents continued to be very critical of his relationship with Russia. “He’s taken a series of steps that had Vladimir Putin dictated them, he couldn’t have mirrored more effectively. What his motivations are, I think is a legitimate question, one that I trust that the Special Council is investigating,” former US national Security Advisor, Susan Rice, told ABC News in an interview.
“But the policies that this president has pursued globally have served Vladimir Putin’s interest in dividing the west, undermining democracy, increasing fissures within NATO and has done very little to advance US interests,” she said. Rice alleged that Trump has taken decisions that have served Russian interests as opposed to US interests. “It was also reinforced sadly this week by that tragic display of sycophancy in Helsinki where the president called into question yet again, standing next to Vladimir Putin – a dictator – the integrity of our intelligence community,” she said.
“He offered for — or he seemed to be willing to consider an offer to hand over our ambassador to Russia, former ambassador Michael McFaul and others to — the Russians for questioning. I mean, it was a series of extraordinary capitulations that really do legitimately call into question what is going on,” Rice said. Rice said it is “ridiculous” when asked about Trump being critical of former president Barack Obama’s Russia policy.
“That kind of language is ridiculous, it’s offensive and it doesn’t frankly reflect well on President Trump. Any American president should stand up for the United States of America, in the present and historically when meeting with Vladimir Putin. It was President Obama who led the United States and our European allies to impose very strong sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and its invasion of Ukraine,” she said. “It’s President Trump who has suggested that Crimea belongs properly to Russia and that he’d be prepared to consider some accommodation for Russia vis-a-vis Ukraine,” Rice said. “So, President Trump can throw all kinds of epithets around. It seems that’s how he likes to govern, but the facts are the facts and the reality is that the United States, on a bipartisan basis, needs to be unified in its opposition to Russia’s policies, to its efforts to undermine our democracy, and our domestic political discourse, and we shouldn’t be casting aspersions on one’s predecessors, we should be looking Putin squarely in the eye and delivering the message that supports United States’ interests, not Russian interests,” Rice said.