June 28, 2019

On CNN's New Day, John Berman asked Michael Smerconish about something that happened at the G20 summit this morning.

"I want to ask about a moment that just happened in Osaka, Japan. President Donald Trump was sitting right next to the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and was asked a direct question about the Russian attack on the U.S. election and whether it would come up in his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Watch this," Berman said.

REPORTER: Will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?

TRUMP: Yes. Of course. Don't meddle in the election.

"He laughed it off, Michael. The president laughed it off side-by-side with Vladimir Putin."

"The best line, perhaps the only memorable line from Andrew Yang last night at the debate, is the line in which he said that the Russians are laughing their asses off after having hacked our election. Well, Andrew Yang is half right. It's both Putin and Trump who are laughing their asses off at what happened in 2016 and that's an outrage," Smerconish said.

"The way the president said it, he leaned over and smiled and said, 'Don't meddle in our election, please.' I call it a 'thank you, sir, may I have another' quality. Do you think that that bothers Americans? Does that bother voters on either side? Obviously, it bothers Democrats. Do you think Republicans hear that and bristle a little bit?" Alysin Camerota asked.

"If they do bristle, they keep it to themselves," Smerconish said.

"But look. this is the same trip, this G20 trip that has already seen the president embrace MBS, with whom I think he's having breakfast later tonight our time. He's got this inexplicable desire to be close to these strong men. Whether it's Kim, whether it's MBS, whether it's Putin. And he's overly differential to them, despite the way in which he projects himself at home as being a strong man himself."

"As you were speaking, we just saw a picture of President Trump at the G20. They're getting ready for their family photo, all the world leaders. You saw President Trump a step in front of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. One thing he wanted us to take from the Mueller report was how serious the Russian attack was, and it doesn't seem like the president gets it."

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