President Donald Trump threw his “own people and country under the bus” when he stated on July 16 that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of meddling in the 2016 election, despite the U.S. intelligence community’s evidence, according to a Fox News host and the daughter of the U.S.’s ambassador to Russia.
Abby Huntsman—whose father, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, was with Trump during his bilateral talk with Putin Monday in Helsinki—blasted the president following his botched press conference with Putin. That the accusation came from a Fox News host could prove especially damning for Trump, who has often praised the network for its coverage of him and his administration.
“No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus,” Abby Huntsman tweeted.
Establishment Republicans also attacked Trump over his acceptance of Putin’s denials. John Weaver, who headed up U.S. Senator John McCain’s two presidential campaigns, encouraged Jon Huntsman to resign if he has “any honor.”
Another Fox Business host, Neil Cavuto, said Putin “appeared to run circles” around Trump.
“I don’t think you get a second chance to make a good first impression at a stage and venue like this,” Cavuto said, according to Mediaite. “I just found that Vladimir Putin appeared to run circles around the president and get him to buy, that is, the guy standing next to him, hook line and sinker, every single sneaky lie and misstatement he has made on this matter.”
After a private, one-on-one meeting and a bilateral discussion with their staffs, Trump and Putin each took questions from reporters. Trump was specifically asked if he believed Putin’s denials over the U.S. intelligence community and offered a riff of his own denial of collusion, while blasting the Justice Department, Democrats and the FBI.
“And I say it all the time. There was no collusion,” Trump said. “I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign, and every time you hear all of these, 12, 14… It’s stuff that has nothing to do, and frankly, they admit these are not people involved in the campaign… But to the average reader out there, they’re saying ‘maybe it does.’ It doesn’t.”
Trump concluded, “We ran a brilliant campaign, and that’s why I’m president.”
The summit came just days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for conducting the hacking operation against the Democratic National Committee in 2016