Massachusetts Lawmakers, Experts Blast Trump Meeting With Putin

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey call the meeting between the two leaders "embarrassing"

Some Massachusetts lawmakers and political experts are criticizing President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted that Trump took to the international stage Monday to "embarrass America, undermine our institutions, weaken our alliances, & embrace a dictator."

Warren was just one of a few politicians who reacted to Monday's summit.

"This is just one more time when Donald Trump takes to the international stage to embarrass America," Warren told NBC10 Boston's Alison King.

Sen. Edward Markey said it was a "national embarrassment that President Trump would put defending the legitimacy of his own election over defending American democracy."

Markey said Trump should have demanded that Putin also stop violating the nuclear treaty, end the annexation of Crimea and the interference in the Syrian war.

"This meeting should have been a confrontation, not a conversation," said Markey.

Trump on Monday said there was "no collusion" between his campaign and the Russians. In a tweet, he blamed the poor U.S. relationship with Russia on "many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

Rep. Katherine Clark Trump called Trump's performance "disgusting and dangerous." Rep. William Keating said it was impossible to distinguish Trump's words from Russian propaganda.

Admiral James Stavridis, Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, says he was shocked Trump publicly denigrated the U.S. intelligence community.

"Just look at the body language of the two Leaders when they walked into that press conference. Vladimir Putin, strutting and smiling. The President of the United States looking very somber, sober," remarked Stavridis.

A self-described independent, courted by both Clinton and Trump campaigns, Stavridis says from Putin’s perspective, much has been accomplished — an increased sense of division in the United States reduced credibility in U.S. intelligence and greater distrust between the U.S. and its allies.

"I think that Vladimir Putin will go back to his team and say, 'I just hit a home run,'" Stavridis said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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