Sen. John McCain slammed President Donald Trump on Saturday for saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin over senior US intelligence officials when he says his country didn’t interfere in the 2016 election.
“President Trump today stated that he believed Vladimir Putin is being sincere when he denies Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reiterated that he hopes to cooperate with Russia in Syria,” McCain, a strong critic of the President, said in a statement.
“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. There’s no ‘principled realism’ in cooperating with Russia to prop up the murderous Assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”
McCain was referencing remarks Trump made while describing his relationship with Putin and the ongoing investigations into 2016 meddling on Saturday.
The president seemed to indicate to reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday that he trusts Putin’s denials more than the comments of former intelligence officials, like former high-ranking intelligence officials James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper.