Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended President Trump on Sunday from claims by Hillary Clinton and former U.S. intelligence officials that Trump is being played by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said the claims are downright “ridiculous.”
“Well, in all due respect to your previous guests, I think that those were the most ridiculous statements. President Trump is not getting played by anybody,” Mnuchin said.
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He added that Putin is key to addressing a series of important issues.
Mnuchin’s remarks come after former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper indicated earlier on the show that Putin is fooling the president through flattery and manipulation.
“I think he’s giving Putin a pass. And I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint,” Brennan stated.
Clapper agreed and said, “He seems very susceptible to rolling out the red carpet and honor guards and all this, all the trappings and pomp and circumstance that come with the office. And I think that — that appeals to him, and it — I think it plays to his insecurities. And, yes, I do think both the Chinese and Russians think they can play him.”
Trump on Saturday blasted Brennan and Clapper, as well as former FBI Director James Comey, for their assessment that Moscow interfered in last year’s election, calling them “political hacks” and claiming that the probes into Russian interference are a “Democratic hit job.”
The president also said he is not going to “argue” with Putin about whether Russia meddled in the 2016 election, instead signaling he wants to move forward and see if the two countries can work together on issues like the civil war in Syria and the crisis in Ukraine.
“President Trump was focused on some very important issues, which are North Korea and Syria. And those are areas that we need to work together with Russia and get them on board with our strategy,” Mnuchin concluded.
An alliance between our countries is important. It could we worse. Trump could have pulled a Hillary Clinton and sold Uranium!
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