Trump Gave Putin ‘Green Light’ to Meddle in 2020 Election, Ex-FBI Boss Says
‘It’s troubling to think the president is finding comfort in our adversary,’ former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said on MSNBC.
Reacting to President Trump’s over hour-long Friday phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which Trump said he didn’t press Putin on meddling in the 2020 presidential election, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi claimed that POTUS had given the Russian leader the “green light” to interfere again.
Speaking at the White House shortly after the call, the president said that Putin “sort of smiled” when they talked about the Mueller Report, adding that the Russian leader said “it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse” because “he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.” The Mueller Report, while finding no chargeable conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, found Russia engaged in “sweeping” interference during the 2016 election.
During Friday’s Deadline: White House, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace asked Figliuzzi what jumped out at him about the phone call, noting that Trump and Putin share a “personal” relationship, and she hasn’t heard Trump “describe a foreign leader smiling since he was president.”
“It’s troubling to think the president is finding comfort in our adversary,” Figliuzzi, an MSNBC national security analyst, replied. “And our nation’s adversary is actually now his buddy. He’s finding self-affirmation in someone who gets up every morning trying to hurt our country.”
The former FBI official pointed out that Trump should have told Putin that the Mueller Report contained “troubling information” about Russia’s attempts to “mess with our democracy” and that he’d receive the “wrath” of American sanctions if it happened again.
Wallace went on to ask about Trump discussing the Mueller Report’s conclusions with Putin, wondering what he thought about a president “talking to a U.S. adversary who attacked our democracy and they’re sharing some sort of commonality about its result?”
After stating that Trump is once again mixing up collusion with criminal conspiracy and that Mueller didn’t actually look at the matter of collusion, Figliuzzi said the president was welcoming further meddling by the Russians.
“With regard to continued relations and cozying up to Putin, Putin has the green light now,” he declared before referencing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen describing Trump as having a mob boss mentality.
“And the lack of pushing back by this government and by the president has got to be giving Putin the green light to do it again,” Figliuzzi added. “Do it again. Help us out.”