“President Trump’s weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the President, personally, financially or politically,” the Democratic leader said in a statement after the president’s one-on-one meeting and presser with Putin in Helsinki.
“This is a sad day for America, and for all Western democracies that Putin continues to target,” she said.
On Monday, Trump held a bilateral summit with Putin, during which the leaders had a nearly two-hour-long closed-door meeting. At a news conference afterward, the American president refused to condemn Putin for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“I hold both countries responsible,” Trump said when asked whether he held Russia accountable for anything in particular in regard to poor relations between the countries.
“I think the United States has been foolish,” he added. “I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame.”
Trump reiterated that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, and in reference to hacking in the U.S. presidential election, said: “My people came to me, they said they think it’s Russia. President Putin just said it’s not Russia.”
Last week, ahead of the summit, Pelosi had told reporters that she wanted Trump to get more from Putin on Russia’s interference in the elections, “something more than, ‘I asked him, he said no and that was that,’” she said.
“What do the Russians have on Donald Trump, politically, financially and personally?” Pelosi asked.