Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) looked back to the day Donald Trump stood next to Russia's president Vladimir Putin and tied it to his misconduct with regard to Ukraine.
January 25, 2020

I've been waiting for a long time for someone to reach back to that disastrous Helsinki press conference where the so-called president stood side-by-side with Vladimir Putin and denied his own intelligence services in favor of Putin's talking points and tie it to his corrupt behavior in Ukraine. Rep. Adam Schiff definitely packed it in a neat package and tied it up with an ugly bow.

After playing the clip of Trump blaming both sides for Russia's election hacking, Schiff unpacked it. The transcript is below, but really, just watch it because you can't capture the passion and disgust without hearing him.

I'm sure you remember this. It was I think unforgettable for every American. But I'm sure it was equally unforgettable for Vladimir Putin. I mean, there he is, the President of Russia, standing next to the President of the United States, and hearing his own Kremlin propaganda talking points coming from the President of the United States.

Now, if that's not a propaganda coup I don't know what is. It's the most extraordinary thing. It's the most extraordinary thing. The president of the united states standing next to the president of Russia, our adversary, saying he doesn't believe his own intelligence agencies. He doesn't believe them. He's promoting this crazy server theory cooked up by the Kremlin. Right next to the guy that cooked it up. It's a breathtaking success of Russian intelligence. I don't know if there's ever been a greater success of Russian intelligence.

Whatever profile Russia did of our president, boy, did they have him spot on. Flattery and propaganda. Flattery and propaganda is all Russia needed. And as to Ukraine, well, they needed to deliver a political investigation to get help from the United States. I mean, this is just the most incredible propaganda coup.

Because as I said yesterday, it's not just that the President of the United States standing next to Vladimir Putin is reading Kremlin talking points. He won't read his own national security staff talking points but he will read the Kremlin ones. But it's not just that he adopts the Kremlin talking points. That would be bad enough. It is not bad enough, not damaging enough, not dangerous enough to our national security that he's undermining our own intelligence agencies. It's not bad enough that he undermines those very agencies that he needs later that we need later to have credibility.

We've just had a vigorous debate over these -- the strikes against General Soleimani and the president made his argument of what the intelligence says and supports. How do you make those arguments? When you say the U.S. Intelligence community can't be believed.

Now, we have had a vigorous debate about what that intelligence has to say. That's not the issue here. The issue here is that you undermine the credibility of our own intelligence agencies. You weaken the country! For when you need to rely on them. For when you need to persuade your friends and allies. You can trust us when we tell you this is what the intelligence shows.

How do you make that argument as the President of the United States when you just told the world you trust the Russians more than your own people? You trust Rudy Giuliani more than Christopher Wray. How do you make that case? If you can't make that case what does that mean to our security? But that's not the end of it. It's not just a propaganda coup. It is not just the undermining of our agencies.

It is also that the buy-in to that propaganda meant that Ukraine wasn't going to get money to fight the Russians. I mean, that's one hell of a Russian intelligence coup. They got the President of the United States to provide cover for their own interference with our election. They got the President of the United states to discredit their own intelligence agencies, to drive a wedge between the United States and Ukraine, the President of the United States to withhold aid from Ukraine in a war with Russia, in a war claiming Ukrainian lives every week.

Has there ever been such a coup? I would submit to you in the entire length of the Cold War the Soviet Union had no such success, no such success and why? Because a former mayor of New York persuaded a president of the United States to sacrifice all of that. Was it worth it? I hope it was worth it. I hope it was worth it. For the president. Because it certainly wasn't worth it for the United States.

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