Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., says President Trump acted more like “a supplicant than the leader of the free world” at a news conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Menendez joins Judy Woodruff to share his reaction to what might transpire after the summit.

Judy Woodruff:

And for a different view, I spoke with Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. He’s the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

We began with his overall take on the day’s developments.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.:

Well, just an incredible moment in which an American president acts more as a supplicant than the leader of the free world, who, on foreign soil, basically disputes the decisions of his intelligence community, a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee vote as well that made it very clear that Russia interfered in our election.

And instead of challenging President Putin and say, I know that you were involved in our elections, you have 12 intelligence officers that have been indicted, and there are consequences for that, he basically accepts Putin’s excuse.

It’s just unimaginable. So Putin must be standing there saying to himself, you know, my investment in 2016 really paid off.


Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.:

I believe the president did incredible damage to the integrity of our national intelligence agencies, to the credibility of the United States in the Western world.

He went through our allies and gave them all the back of the hand and he gave a warm embrace to Putin. The Western world must be shocked at what transpired. The message to other entities in the world is, you can violate the international order, and there will be little consequence at the end of the day.

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