WASHINGTON, DC - Today, after the White House disputed that President Trump said Russia is no longer targeting the U.S. but confirmed that he is open to Russia interrogating U.S. citizens, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and an ex officio member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement:

“The American people are right to be suspicious when they see President Trump attack the news media but refuse to challenge Putin.  He claims without evidence to be tough on Russia, but repeatedly proves he’s soft on Putin.  

“People can watch the video and make up their own minds.  But this has echoes of President Trump denying he criticized Theresa May, only to be contradicted by the Sun releasing a tape of him criticizing her.

“President Trump is weak on Putin, blames America, and is squandering his rapidly diminishing credibility.  He has engaged in a pattern of undercutting and denying our Intelligence Community, which helps Putin and damages our national security. 

“President Trump called Putin’s request to let Russian authorities question the former U.S. ambassador to Moscow “an incredible offer.”  And the fact that this White House is still contemplating allowing Russian agents to interrogate U.S. citizens and diplomats is a disgrace. 

“I urge the White House and others in the Administration to denounce Putin’s proposal and make it resoundingly clear that the United States does not and will not sell out our citizens to Vladimir Putin’s regime. 

“President Trump must stop denying and undercutting U.S. intelligence and isolating us from our allies.  His actions only reduce our standing in the world.  Putin has spent his career trying to achieve those objectives.  Why is President Trump doing it for him?  The American people deserve answers and the only way to get them is for President Trump to finally talk to the Special Counsel.”