Five years after Russia was ejected from what was then the G8 for its annexation of Crimea, President Donald Trump renewed a call to readmit the country at this year’s G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
And Democrats wasted little time pouncing, revisiting an old theme to declare that Russia President Vladimir Putin has the goods on Trump.
“I think it’s a work in progress. We have a number of people that would like to see Russia back,” President Trump told reporters when asked for an update on the matter, according to CNBC. “I don’t know if we will make a decision one way or the other but we did have a discussion about Russia last night as to whether or not we want to invite them back.”
“Maybe we will just leave it the way it is,” the president added.
This prompted Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., to ask, “What does Putin have over this president?”
On CNN, of course.
“No doubt Russia is a bad actor. Not only did they annex, invade and annex Crimea using the little green man and the regular military, they also used their little green men in an invasion of eastern Ukraine, a fight that is still going on,” Garamendi said. “It’s a war going on in that area, very low level right now.”
In a bit of saber rattling, the Democrat said that House Armed Services Committee members will visit eastern European next month.
“I will be going there with my fellow Armed Services Committee members to strengthen the alliance and to make sure that we have sufficient resources in place in eastern Europe to make it very clear to the Russians, no, you cannot do that, yes, you must leave Ukraine,” Garamendi said.
Democrats clearly still have Russia on the brain, as the lawmaker used the occasion to question the relationship between Trump and Putin.
“On the political side, what’s going on here with President Trump and Putin? What is this relationship?” he asked. “What does Putin have over this president that causes this president to do some really bad policy decisions?”
Before departing the White House last week, Trump spoke about wanting Russia to be readmitted to the summit of world leaders, saying former President Barack Obama was “outsmarted” by Putin and wanted him out, CNBC reported.
“I’ve gone to numerous G-7 meetings, and I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in so he wanted Russia out,” Trump said. “I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in and it should be the G-8,” Trump said.
“Russia should be in this meeting,” he added. “They should let Russia come back in, because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
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