There was great consternation and outrage among Democrats and the liberal media following President Donald Trump’s summit in Helsinki, Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the surprise of nobody.
But Trump also received plenty of not-so-friendly fire from several prominent figures on the right as well following the summit, including from Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain, who released a fiery statement slamming the summit as a “tragic mistake.”
Today’s press conference in #Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 16, 2018
According to a statement released from McCain’s office, the senator stated, “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.”
McCain asserted that Trump was “unable” and “unwilling” to stand up to Putin and accused the two leaders of “speaking from the same script” as Trump chose to “defend a tyrant” and allowed him to “spew propaganda and lies” to the entire world.
The senator further surmised that it was not Trump’s “under-preparation and inexperience” that led to the horrible summit, but rather a “deliberate choice” on the part of the president to ignore all of Putin’s shortcomings in order to pursue a warmer relationship between the two nuclear-armed nations.
“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency,” declared McCain. “That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.”
“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant,” the senator stated.
“Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are — a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad,” he continued.
“American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain,” McCain concluded.
Look, we are well aware of the preexisting feud between McCain and Trump that dates back years, and we fully understand that not everyone was entirely pleased with the manner in which Trump handled his meeting with Putin.
That said, nothing Trump said at the summit constituted “treason” as shouted by the left. Portraying Trump as some sort of supplicant lackey to Putin is the kind of over-the-top anti-Trump hyperbole that actually detracts from what otherwise might be valid criticisms of the president. It’s just one more reason why Trump won the 2016 election in the first place.